Sad News for FIRST Community.


I just found out that a good friend and supporter of FIRST, Joe Hering, lost a long hard-fought battle with lung cancer last July. While Joe was well known at SVR, the wider FIRST community is probably unaware of the huge contribution Joe made. Joe was the contractor program manager for NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project (reporting to Mark Leon and Dave Lavery), which started as the Robotics Education Project in 1997. Joe was responsible for making sure many rookie teams got their start, including the Cheesy Poofs, amongst many others. If you ever saw the cool NASA portable machine shop, well the art on the side was Joe’s project, as well as the initial design and content that went into the RAP web site.

Joe was also instrumental in the development of webcasting. You all can get webcasts on your smart phones now, but Joe was figuring out how to support webcasting the kickoff from New Hampshire back in 99. I worked closely with Joe from 1999 - 2005. Whenever he became frustrated over an obstacle or with bureaucracy, he’d remind himself - “I am doing this for the kids.” The best way to sum-up Joe his the tag line on his business card: “Mountains Moved.”

There used to be something called FIRST unsung heroes on Chief Delphi, but I can’t find it any more. Of all the unsung heroes, I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Joseph Hering.

The Image attached is a poster I made for Joe’s birthday in 2007.


Thank you for sending the news out to us. It fills everyone on 256 with great sadness to hear of Mr. Hering’s fate. He’s always been a great supporter of FIRST, and a great man to talk to at SVR. He also was one of the founders of our team, 256, back in 1999. Joe will be in our prayers.


FRC Team 1501 sends it’s condolences to Mr. Hering’s family.
Rest in Peace Joe, you will be missed.


Please pass along our condolences to his family and friends.


I am saddened to hear of the passing of such a large contributor to FIRST. I have never met Joe, but reap the benefts of his participation and ingenuity, as we all do. Thank you, Joe. RIP.

Cancer sucks. (Sorry Woodie)