Paul Copioli was awarded the Championship Woodie Flowers Award in 2005. Paul was a long-time mentor on FRC team 217, the Thunder Chickens out of Sterling Heights, Michigan. Paul is now a mentor on FRC team 3310, Blackhawk Robotics from Rockwall, Texas.
As Paul was working in Michigan as a mechanical design engineer at FANUC Robotics, Paul began mentoring the McComb Robotics team in 2001. Within a few years, this team increased their competitiveness and drastically improved their team image under Paul’s leadership. Before long, the Thunder Chickens were perennial contenders for Regional and World Championship titles. They won the FIRST Robotics World Championships in 2006 and 2008. In the early 2000’s, the Thunder Chickens were involved in the movement to share designs with other teams, which helped raise the level of competition within FIRST Robotics.
In 2010, Paul was offered the position as president of VEX, a division of Innovation First International. Paul has led this organization to increase their impact on STEM and robotics education worldwide, as they have quickly grown their VEX hardware product lines.
We find Paul at FIRST Robotics events mentoring his team, working with fellow mentors and students from other teams. Paul has served as a play by play announcer, emcee, and color commentator at FIRST Robotics events, sharing his skill and experience.
Paul has a BS in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy, and also a masters of science in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan.