UFH: Raul Olivera

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Raul Olivera.


Name: Raul Olivera
Date Honored: 12-31-2004
Years involved w/FIRST: 9
FIRST Team(s): Motorola &, Rolling Meadows High School &, Wheeling High School (0111)
Role: Lead Engineer/Mentor
Quote: “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” & “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”
Bio: Raul Olivera is well known throughout FIRST. The dynamic mentor from Wildstang, Team 111, can constantly be seen helping other teams both at competitions and here on ChiefDelphi.

When asked about the many awards and recognitions his team has received, Raul was very modest. “OK, so I have led the design and engineering of our robots for 9 years, which led to many engineering awards, several appearances to event finals and a National championship. But, those are not my best accomplishments; they are only what feed the true mission of FIRST. I am proudest of the influence we have had on so many students, including my son. I have seen so many inspired by our guidance and their experiences in FIRST. So many were compelled to go to college, become truly good engineers and leaders and then come back to become mentors on themselves. Also, of great value to me are all the friends that I have made because of my involvement in FIRST.”

Raul’s favorite memory that sticks out includes a landmark in FIRST: the first use of alliances. “I have so many fond memories from experiences on FIRST that it is really hard to pick a favorite. One memory that stands out takes place at Nationals in 1999. This was the first year that alliances were used. We had seeded too low to pick a partner but knew we had a good chance of being chosen. Well, we were convinced that we had the best chance of winning if we were partnered with the TechnoKats. So, we had to convince them that they had to pick us. We had picked them at the Midwest regional but had neglected to pick them again at the Great Lake regional. But I had become good friends with Andy Baker by then and felt comfortable pleading with them. When the seeding matches were over, I grabbed Andy and proceeded to plead my case. They picked us and we got to within one win of winning Nationals. The other part that really sticks in my mind is how different FIRST competitions have been since that year when we started to pick alliances. Everyone has become so much more friendly and helpful.”

Lastly, Raul shares with us what it’s REALLY all about. “Warning, this is deeply philosophical. My advice - Don’t let the idea of becoming rich and/or famous ruin your happiness. You are much wealthier right now than you think. You need to understand what wealth really means before you try to pursue it. Wealth exists in many forms and only through careful self evaluation will you appreciate this. The traditional idea of wealth is a measure of how much money or material assets you have. But for example, I know that most of the students who participate in FIRST are wealthier now than any billionaire who is lying on his death bed. That billionaire would gladly give up all his money to be where you are now. You see, your youth and health are worth more than that old dying man’s billions. Count all your blessings!”

Congratulations to our 27th truly Unsung FIRST Hero, Raul Olivera.

Nominated By: confidential

Congratulation Raul. Its really nice to see a Wildstanger getting this award who trully deserves it. Congrats to an engineer who is a regular Chiefdelphi member… a great helper and a great mentor. I am thankful to be in an organization where engineers like Raul Exist.

p.s. - is this Bharat Nain UFH thread too… wait never mind. Bharat isn’t Raul. pfftt. :slight_smile:

Congratulations Raul! :slight_smile:

You definitely deserve this. The amount of knowledge and ideas you have shared with us on these forums has helped out many of us.

Congrats Raul…

Is this 2 Wildstangers in the past 2 months??? WOW! You all rock over there at Wildstang! You know how to design some kickn’ robots! Keep it up!


Congrats Bhara…Raul.

You are one of the best engineers out there and design some of the greatest bots to ever play these games. You have obviously inspired many to become better engineers and have most definitely changed some peoples lives. Enjoy the two weeks of honor, and of course a lifetime of pride.

congrats raul… your many helpful posts on cd throughout the years have helped me to not only better understand what robotics is all about, but they have also inspired me to give back to this program that has given me so much.

thanks and congrats

Congrats Raul!

Does this mean I get to be the next UFH? No just kidding, I have done nothing in comparison to you, although I will always strive to a figure who has touched the lives of so many kids and whose help and guidance has been appreciated all over the nation. You truly deserve this, congrats once again Raul!

Congratulations, Raul! You are an inspiration to all in FIRST. Your concept of wealth in terms of youth, enthusiasm, and opportunity is right on the mark! True happiness is worth more than any amount of money or stuff!

You most definitely deserve this honor! Congrats again!!


Congrats Raul,
A great mentor, engineer, and competitor. You’ve always been there to support and encourage us - Thanks! Long overdue, from your friends at Team 47.

Congratulation Raul,
Your leadership is evident by your outstanding efforts year after year. As a leader of a “Premier” FIRST team your love for youth and the FIRST efforts shines bright.

It is an honor to consider you a friend and fellow UFH member. You are a well respected mentor and leader among leaders.

I will always remember the time Joe ran up to you and … I will not finish this memory as it may be to painful.

As Joe would say “Wildstang, I think we love you”.

Mike Martus

Congratulations Raul … and thanks for all your help and input on these forums

Yay for WildStang! Congrats Raul, thanks for all your input on these forums :slight_smile:

Congratulations Raul!
Few of the many folks on this forum, are aware of your dedication and all the work you put in. I hope that your employer recognizes your effort and it’s impact on the community. Thanks for all your help over the last ten seasons, you have inspired many young people including my son, to pursue engineering careers. The entire FIRST organization has prospered through the efforts of engineers like yourself and the others you work with. The respect you show other mentors, myself included, is one of life’s great rewards. I consider myself lucky to be included in any team you are part of.

Congrats Raul, you’ve really done a lot for the FIRST community.

Congratulations Raul! I have heard so much about you, and I am so sure without a doubt that you deserve this big honor. Well done!!

congrats raul…always willing to shaing drawings or anything else with me and I appreciate all your extra effort. Congratulations!

Great Job Raul!!! Thanks for all your help!!! :smiley:

Congrats Mr. Olivera!


Congratulations! The times we have talked, it has been obvious that your dedication to FIRST is surpassed only by your dedication to your student team members. You continue to provide an excellent example of what “mentoring” is all about. This is well deserved.



Ever since I first saw a Wildstang robot at GLR in 1998, I have been inspired by the work of you and your fabulous team. Each year I eagerly await the unveiling of the new engineering marvel that is the team 111 robot. These robots are part of the reason I keep coming back every season. When designing the 2004 team 1114 robot, we noticed that we kept coming back to old Wildstang designs (among many other great teams as well, especially the Chief Delphi bots from 1998-200). We wanted to emulate the best, and it worked out unbelievably.

If I’ve been inspired this much just by watching your creations, I can only imagine how rewarded your students and fellow mentors are.

I’ve always enjoyed our discussions at competitions. I look forward to running into you again this season. Congratulations on a well deserved honour.