View Full Version : UFH: Paul Copioli

09-01-2003, 02:11 AM
Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Paul Copioli (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/ufh.php?action=honoreedetail&id=3/).

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/ufh/image/1060831002paul_cropped.jpg (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/ufh.php?action=honoreedetail&id=3)

Name: Paul Copioli
Date Honored: 08-31-2003
Years involved w/FIRST: 5
FIRST Team(s): Ford Motor Company/FANUC Robotics Inc./B&,K Corporation &, Utica Community Schools (0217)
Role: Engineer/Mentor
Quote: “Without inspiration … we would perish.” - Walt Disney
Bio: Paul Copioli has been selected as the third Unsung FIRST Hero because of his unwavering passion and energy for FIRST and his dedication to his team. A native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, Paul attended Henry Ford II High School, and after graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force Academy. While in the Air Force, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering, then spending three years working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a Test Engineer.

In 1995, Paul received his Master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. He then was hired by Lockheed-Martin, working as a Propulsion and Structures engineer until 1997, until he left Lockheed to take his current position as a Product Development Engineer for FANUC Robotics.

Paul has spent the last 5 years as an engineer and mentor to the students of team 217, the Thunderchickens. He says that his favorite FIRST memory is “watching the transformation of a student.” In explanation, he gives the example of a rookie student on the team who was very shy and quiet. He “would do what you asked him and do it well, but was not much of a leader”. Paul really enjoyed watching that student grow and change, those changes due in large part to the influences of FIRST. “He is now running a FIRST team in New York and is one of the best young leaders I have worked with,” says Paul.

As a veteran FIRST-er, Paul has quite a bit of experience under his belt. He leaves us these words of wisdom:

“Learn everything you can from your mentors. They have more experience than most high school students do and experience is all about time and mistakes. All of us make mistakes over time and experience is what we take from those mistakes. We can’t possibly make enough mistakes in a lifetime to gain the experience we need in life, so we must learn from others mistakes (experiences) so we insure that we can learn and grow. You are never to old to learn and never to young to teach. You do not have to agree with everything your mentors teach you, but you can still learn from them. Remember, people like me are here because of the students. We want to help in any way we can, not just in robotics.”

Congratulations, Paul, and may you continue to share your wisdom with the students of team 217 and the rest of the FIRST community.

Nominated By: confidential

Amanda Morrison
09-01-2003, 02:11 AM
Congratulations to Paul Copioli for being our third Unsung FIRST Hero honoree.

Paul is an excellent asset to the FIRST community and should be commended for his efforts.

Thank you, for everything that you do for us. It is well appreciated.

Jeff Waegelin
09-01-2003, 07:16 AM
Congratulations Paul! Ever since I first met you, I realized the love, excitement, and passion you have for FIRST and your team's students. You are truly deserving of this award. Conrgratulations!

Jason Morrella
09-04-2003, 05:17 PM
Certainly very much deserved.

While I've known of and heard about Paul for a couple years, I'd only met him in passing on a couple occasions until this summer. This summer we were both in Manchester at the same time and I had the chance to talk to him for awhile - and it became crystal clear very fast just how impressive Paul is and how many great traits & ideas he brings to the table for teams and FIRST. Very intelligent guy, with lots of great ideas, and first hand experience/insight regarding many issues in FIRST....FIRST is very lucky to have people like Paul involved, and the luckiest people are the students who get to work with and learn from him on the team level.

Congratulations Paul! Thanks for being such a great role model for so many students AND mentors in FIRST.

Look forward to seeing you at some events this year,


Andy Baker
09-05-2003, 08:43 AM
Paul is a great asset to FIRST. His passion is contagious and he brings excitement and emotion to the competition. His leadership on the Thunderchickens is a model for all of us to follow.

The most impressive thing to me is how well the Thunderchickens perform in FIRST. I really can't think of a more well-rounded team. Think about it... who is always one of the most spirited teams out there? - Thunderchickens. Who traditionally has one of the most innovative drivetrains in FIRST? - Thunderchickens. Who will give you anything you want if you went to their pit and asked for it? - Thunderchickens. Who puts together a good animation and a consistently good newsletter? - Thunderchickens.

Sure, there are other teams who do some of these things very well, but I see team 217 as a extremely well-rounded team. Of course, this execution is driven from more than just Paul - it is a team effort. However, this effort starts at the top and is led by Paul. More than once I have heard Paul "addressing the troops" while talking to his team at a Regional. He sounds like a football coach at halftime. He pumps them up, corrects them if needed, and freely displays his passion for FIRST. He is downright contagious.

Paul really showed his passion this summer when he accepted the role as field announcer at IRI. He partnered with Wildstang Dan Green and they both put on a great show. Paul as running around the field in his goofy shirts, introducing the teams, taunting the refs ("Belly Check!"), and pumping up the crowd in a positive way. It was a sight to see.

Keep it up, Paul... FIRST is better because of you.

Andy B.

Amanda Aldridge
09-08-2003, 01:07 AM
tee hee. We should have Andy write the bios on everyone.

09-08-2003, 12:00 PM
I've learned so much from you, simply by reading your posts on this forum. Meeting, and working with you at IRI was a great experience. Your energy really is contagious.
Also during our brief discussions, your perspective on things was enlightening (to say the least), and I look forward to any future conversations we might have.

FIRST needs more mentors like you.

Congratulations, enjoy the honor, you truly deserve it.


Andy Baker
07-07-2004, 06:12 PM
Congrats to the Copioli family, as Paul and Jennifer welcome their second son to the world.

Donovan Vito Copioli was born on Saturday, July 3rd, at 1:12am. He weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz, and was 21" long at birth.

Paul conveyed that Jennifer and Don Vito are doing well. With Giovanni and Donovan, the Copiolis almost have a full drive team!

(I hope these details are correct!)

Andy B.

Yan Wang
07-07-2004, 07:00 PM
First off, I am greatly amused at how a baby's height is referred to as length.

Secondly, thank you very much Paul being such a good mentor to Vicki and making her such a great robotics mentor in turn. She has worked hard on our team and taken almost all the responsibility for communications between our high school and Cornell University. In addition, I believe she stole a pair of fairly nice safety glasses from you or your team during the 2002 Championships in Epcot for me because mine got lost. :) Keep up the awesome work.

Frank Toussaint
07-09-2004, 04:44 PM
Don Copioli, I kiss your hand!

Matt Attallah
07-09-2004, 07:35 PM

Another wings fan...heh. DJ - better watch out, the armies are mounting... :D

Agian - congrats Paul and family!!

Josh Hambright
07-20-2004, 09:10 AM
I had never really met Paul before IRI, so i guesse these congrats are a bit belated but I see now why he was honored here. Paul your an inspiration and a great guy!
Thank you and congrats!

Bharat Nain
07-20-2004, 11:04 AM
I've heard wayy too much about you, you definately deserve this honor. Congractulations, good work !! :)

Chris Fultz
07-20-2004, 09:08 PM
Congratulations Paul -

Hope the yungins are doin fine!

Awesome job at the IRI!!!

Chris -

Kyle Love
07-21-2004, 09:23 PM
Congrats Paul-
I have not had the chance to meet Paul yet, but from what Andy B. has said about him I think he is a really good guy. I hope someday we can have a chat. Once again, congrats!

07-21-2004, 09:30 PM
Ive never met Paul before...but congrats to you!. You seems liek a really cool person! congrats!