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Unread 03-16-2006, 05:34 PM
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UFH: Ed Sparks

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Ed Sparks.



Name: Ed Sparks
Date Honored: 03-14-2006
Years involved w/FIRST: 10
FIRST Team(s): Siemens VDO Automotive &, Limestone County Technical Career Center (0034)
Role: Engineer
Quote: Nothing can bring you peace but yourself – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bio: Ed Sparks is a do-it-all mentor who describes himself as a 'jack of all trades, master of none'. Ed has been putting time and effort into team #34 for the last ten years, filling a variety of roles. "I'm usually involved in just about everything on the engineering side of our team. I help draw models of parts and assemblies for our machines as well as other teams through the FirstCadLibrary. I'm also involved with mentoring the engineering, manufacturing, and assembly of the robot. I'm a software engineer professionally so I've been heavily involved in software development. I'm also head of purchasing since I keep in my possession the company credit card."

Ed also had a few funny moments to share with us: "It's hard to pick just one after 10 years so I'll pick a few...The first time I saw Dean's new house – I want one just like it. At the 2004 National Competition when Dave Lavery gave a "Game Ball" to my son (who is disabled) and autographed it with "See You on Mars". Watching Tom Watson of Innovation First do a Funky Chicken/Cotten-Eye-Joe kind of dance thing in the playing field during a "Technical Difficulty" at the Peachtree regional a few years ago."

In his ten years, Ed sure has more than a few accomplishments under his belt. His list includes the following:
10 years as an engineering mentor on FRC Team 34 (Rocket City Robotics).
1 year coaching FLL.
1 year as judge at the Alabama State FLL Competition
Founder of the FirstCadLibrary.
3 years lead inspector at Peachtree regional .
1 year inspector at the Palmetto regional.
Head Inspector & Technical Advisor at the 2005 National Competition.

Ed gave us an inspirational quote about what FIRST means. "A great reminder of just why I wanted to be an engineer in the first place. It's physically, mentally, and emotionally the most exhausting thing I've ever done and I can't imagine my life without it." Lastly, he gave us a short bit of advice for the rest of us FIRSTers. "Take advantage of this opportunity to explore new career possibilities. Don't just be involved in the things that you are experienced in. Relax, take deep breaths, have fun, get plugged in, network with others, go the distance."

Congratulations to Ed Sparks, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: confidential

Last edited by Brandon Martus : 11-12-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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Unread 03-16-2006, 05:35 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Congratulations to Ed Sparks, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.
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Unread 03-16-2006, 06:33 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Ed, this is long overdue!

You've helped countless teams with your CAD drawings and library, and some may not have been able to design their robot without them. I can only imagine the amount of time you put into maintaining and updating them.

Congratulations and thanks for your commitment.
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Unread 03-16-2006, 08:31 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

About time!!!
Raise your hand if you ever used anything from FIRSTcadlibrary.com
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Unread 03-16-2006, 08:38 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Congrats, Ed! Your site rocks!
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Unread 03-16-2006, 08:45 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Congratulations Mr. Sparks, you certainly have an amazing resume. I look forward to meeting you sometime =).
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Unread 03-16-2006, 08:48 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Congratulation Mr. Sparks. I want to thank you for keeping up with the cad library and still making parts for us. Your cad library made my life easier for all my designs. You sure deserve this honor.
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Unread 03-16-2006, 09:35 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Ed,
The committee has chosen another FIRSTclass guy for this award. Your dedication to the program shows in what you do here and in competition. It is a pleasure to work with you as a fellow inspector. Congratulations on a this great honor. See you in Atlanta.
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Unread 03-17-2006, 08:05 AM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Congratulations, Ed! It's amazing to read about how so many different people contribute to the success of FIRST in different ways!
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Unread 03-17-2006, 04:06 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

I had the opportunity to inspect robots under Mr. Sparks last year at the Championship in Atlanta, and it couldn't have been any more fun. Ed is just about the nicest guy you can put in a position like that, and always made sure everyone understood what was going on in the rare event of a problem. Congrats, and hope to work with you again come the end of April!
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Unread 03-17-2006, 05:25 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Congradulations Mr. Sparks! Thanks for all the work you do!
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Unread 03-18-2006, 10:04 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

hey just got back from Peachtree, and had I known I would have congratulated you in person. Anyways Ed congrats you've been doing great stuff for a loooong time. Hopefully you get to rest your back some before Sacramento. good luck
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Unread 03-20-2006, 07:00 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Hey Ed! Great job. Like Steven I would have given you a big High 5 if I had know when I saw at Peach Tree. You're a walking institution of FIRST. Our team too has used your drawing library and valued your comments. Thanks for the inspiration!!
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Unread 03-24-2006, 02:02 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Kressly
About time!!!
Raise your hand if you ever used anything from FIRSTcadlibrary.com
*raises hand* Ed, Team 11's AutoDesk team this year started with nothing. We had no models of any parts from previous years because our team had never entered in the AutoDesk Inventor Award. Thanks to you and firstcadlibrary, we saved countless hours on those small, complicated parts that just eat time. You gave us a jumpstart because the common parts were already made. (And almost all of your models are much better than those in the Virtual Kit of Parts!)
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Unread 03-27-2006, 07:10 PM
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Re: UFH: Ed Sparks

Ed is definately a lifesaver, and I'm proud to know and work with him.
Team 34 just wouldn't be the same without him.
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