Alumni Updates

People who once walked in your shoes are now building the future!

We are 454 alumni strong. Most alumni are located in the Bay area. >15 alumni got married/had kids recently!

Heatmap of alumni

from 31 responses

Fun Memories from the Past

Alumni reminisce about their time at MRSD

Husam Wadi (Class of 2022)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: The MRSD lab in the basement of Newell -Simon turned into a tsunami one Spring day in 2021 and flooded from every conceivable angle. We were rowing our robots out of there in a desperate rescue operation since no one put that in their risk assessments.

💼 Current Role: Senior Robotics Engineer – Daifuku , in Dallas, Texas
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Reproduced. Now I change diapers full time.
⛳ Hobbies: Astronomy 🔭, camping 🏕️, and grappling sports.
🤝 Reach out to me for: Decent at career advice. I recommended the class graduating after me (2022+) to *not* choose a cutting edge unproven startup and stick to old world robots because it seemed probable at the time that tech was about to go through serious hiring cuts and liquidity retraction.
Argo died shortly after and fired most of the CMU hires, and the tech market is what it is today :’)

Daniel Arnett (Class of 2018)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: During Oliver Kroemer’s first semester teaching at CMU the class erupts into cheering in the middle of class. He turns around confused and asks what’s going on- to find out everyone had been watching the first SpaceX Falcon Heavy dual landing. As his soul leaves his body for a moment he goes “oh. okay. Can we get back to this now?”

I thought the cheering was a bit much, and thought it was rude to Oliver, but he took it well. He put up with a lot from us that semester. One time he showed a plot (no idea what it was about), and I think someone we’ll call “Jimmy D’s” in our WhatsApp group drew a stick-figure-person on top of the plot, making the plot look like the stick-figure guy’s huge butt. The whole class started quietly laughing about it. Oliver knew something was up, but didn’t know what. I remember one or two classmates starting to turn red trying to keep it together. But when Oliver, trying to figure out what’s going on, goes back a few slides to the plot people just can’t hold it in and erupts with laughter.

Overall 10/10, Oliver’s a champ.

💼 Current Role: Robotics Engineer – Near Earth Autonomy, in Pittsburgh
📰 Big News Since MRSD: A lunar rover I worked on for like 5 years went to space… Then came back.⛳ Hobbies: Skydiving/Paramotoring/Wingsuiting/FPV Drone Racing/Designing my own embedded system for tracking skydivers and cutaway parachutes in the air.
🤝 Reach out to me for: Flying hobbies, and if there are Near Earth Job openings you’re interested in I’ll work with you to try to help it work out.

Selvam Raju Somalraju (SSR) (Class of 2013)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Our group (loved) sneaking into the Robolounge after sleepless nights to submit the PDRs / CDRs, and having a secret party! 😉

💼 Current Role: Staff Technical Program Manager – Zoox Inc., in Hayward, California
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Started a company, got funded, but Covid hit and we had to wind it down; Got married, bought a house, about to have a baby 🙂
⛳ Hobbies: Travel, motorcycle rides, cooking, exploring different cuisines! Listening to Brandon Sanderson’s books 😀
🤝 Reach out to me for: If you’re looking for food recommendations in the SF Bay Area, hit me up. 🙂 Also happy to talk about Systems Engineering (SW focused) for Autonomous Vehicles!

Harshit Agrawal (Class of 2023)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: I loved how every time we (Team Ratatouille) cooked something with the robot, we filled RI Basement with good aroma (sometimes right to the elevator door I’m told) and people would just pour in following the smell. We never ran out of mouths to test the latest batch haha. 

💼 Current Role: Robotic System Engineer – Nimble Robotics, in San Francisco
⛳ Hobbies: Painting, Bollywood dance class, eating food, gaming and travel (n star gazing)
🤝 Reach out to me for: Career guru sounds good 😎

Sida Wang (Class of 2016)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: I stayed in the lab the whole night before the final presentation for MRSD project, which was the only time that I didn’t go home.

💼 Current Role: Software engineer – Nvidia, in Pittsburgh
📰 Big News Since MRSD: I am getting married on April 27th in Pittsburgh!
⛳ Hobbies: Violin, hiking, reading, writing

Rushat Gupta Chadha (Class of 2016)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: MRSD batch of 2016 used to have a pretty solid tradition of playing Mafia every Friday night following ILR submissions in the first semester. Great times! Shout Out to Adam Yabroudi for organizing it!

💼 Current Role: Senior Machine Learning Engineer II – Cruise, in San Francisco
📰 Big News Since MRSD: I just proposed to my fiancé last July and am getting married this year!
⛳ Hobbies: Rock climbing, skiing, cycling, hiking, photography and guitar!
🤝 Reach out to me for: Any outdoor activity partner!

Subramanian Krishnan (Class of 2021)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: We used to have a rubber duck as our mascot. Ducky, the debugger. He was even featured on our website. I miss Ducky. Oh yes, I miss my teammates too xD

💼 Current Role: Senior Software Engineer, Autonomous Vehicles – NVIDIA, in Santa Clara
⛳ Hobbies:  Piano and Badminton!
🤝 Reach out to me for: Anything! Always happy to hangout with MRSD folks. Very interested in teaching/helping out with the MRSDs prep course design (really think this would make a big difference in how prepared the incoming students are), happy to refer for roles. 

Oliver Krengel (Class of 2018)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Making my Honda CR-V semi-autonomous for our final demo!

💼 Current Role: Senior Software Engineer – Anduril, in Seattle
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Got married and we have 2 little boys!
⛳ Hobbies: Skiing and Biking
🤝 Reach out to me for: Seattle jobs questions

Gauri Gandhi (Class of 2016)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: There are so many of them! The one I would never forget would be the final demo of our capstone MRSD project. We spent multiple sleepless nights and things were not working. And somehow just 15 minutes before the demo, everything started to work. We literally did only 1 fully functional run of our system before the demo. I distinctly remember how stressed we were and then within a few minutes we were on cloud nine! It was so rewarding!

💼 Current Role: Senior Software Engineer – Luminar Technologies, in Santa Clara, California
📰 Big News Since MRSD:  I got married😅
Also I tried my hand at starting a robotics talk show series on Youtube. It is called GauriBot Talks. I did 5 episodes of it. I am thinking to gather some fresh motivation and start it again!
⛳ Hobbies: I love to plan trips for everyone even when I am not part of those trips😄 Also I like going on hikes!
🤝 Reach out to me for: Hiking buddy sounds good! Probably if you are interested in spreading robotics awareness around the world, lets talk about it


Juncheng Zhang (Class of 2017)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: I still remembered that our live demo didn’t work successfully during the MRSD FVD. We learned the lesson and recorded the demo video for the FVD Encore in case it didn’t work the second time, although the live demo was successful during the encore

💼 Current Role: Software Engineer – DoorDash Labs, in Santa Clara
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Married my wife whom I met at CMU
⛳ Hobbies:  Basketball, Animation
🤝 Reach out to me for: You can reach out to me if you would like some advances from professional working on calibration, localization and mapping

Danendra Singh (Class of 2018)

💼 Current Role: Software Engineer – Google, in Bay Area
🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Trying to make a drone & rover work collaboratively in chilly Pittsburgh winters – that was fun!
⛳ Hobbies: Swimming, hiking, movies

Kunal Kishore Bajaj (Class of 2012)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Our drone crashing into Hamerschlag before our first MRSD project demo

💼 Current Role: Head of Hardware – Standard AI, in Fremont, CA
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Doubled the family recently 🙂
⛳ Hobbies: Reading books on value investing
🤝 Reach out to me for: Always down to brainstorm startup ideas

Jianmin Zheng (Class of 2020)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: We have been working on the mobility quadcopter assignment for literally weeks. Everyday is like sleeping, eating and doing this assignment lol.

💼 Current Role: Software Engineer – Meta, in Seattle
📰 Big News Since MRSD: I switched my job from AWS robotics to Meta Reality Labs. I’m working on the 3D browser in metaverse rn.
⛳ Hobbies: Auto racing, go karts, basketball, gaming
🤝 Reach out to me for: Hobbies, robotics invention or business ideas, and of course career related stuff.

Jacob Miller (Class of 2022)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: The motors for the robot on our MRSD project stopped working a week or so prior to FVD, and Dimi let us bring it to his lab to debug it

💼 Current Role: Software Engineer – Waymo, in San Francisco
⛳ Hobbies: Hiking, baking, photography
🤝 Reach out to me for: General networking

Many MRSD alumni are building companies!

Iljoo Baek (Class of 2012)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: The last biz presentation when a projector was malfunctioning. Only my team, Team A, was able to finish the presentation smoothly!

💼 Current Role: Director of Perception – Stealth Mode Start up
(Autonomous Vehicle), in Pittsburgh
📰 Big News Since MRSD:  I guess I am the only one who pursued a PhD after MRSD 🙂
⛳ Hobbies: Playing / Watching Ice hockey

Reese Mozer (Class of 2015)

📰 Big News Since MRSD: Achieved first-in-history FAA approval for autonomous drone operation. Sold my first company for $82M. Acquired 3 other drones companies. Became President of a public company. Featured in WSJ, CNBC, etc. Invited expert to White House. Currently building my second startup. Total capital raised across all ventures is $98M+.

💼 Current Role: Founder & CEO – Crgo, in Boston, MA

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Involuntary disassembly of rogue drones!
🤝 Reach out to me for:  Startup mentor with all the scars. Seen and/or made all the mistakes.
Can share the important details they don’t cover at the Swartz Center.

Many MRSD alumni recently got married/had kids!

Sai Shruthi Balaji (Class of 2023)

💼 Current Role: Senior Research Engineer – Magna International, in Troy, Michigan
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Naren (another MRSD and I) got engaged in August 2023!
 We are a happy MRSD couple 🙂
⛳ Hobbies: Reading, board games, cooking and swimming!
🤝 Reach out to me for: I was laid off recently from my previous company (Path Robotics) and I just switched jobs. So anyone looking to hear about the current job market and want some advice on job search , feel free to reach out!

Parv Parkhiya (Class of 2020)


💼 Current Role: Senior Perception Engineer – ISEE, in Cambridge, UK
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Got Married, Moved to UK
Hobbies: Video Games and Storytelling
🤝  Reach out to me for: For anything related to video games. From making games to discussing about them

Andrew Wong (Class of 2018)

💼 Current Role: Perception Sensors Software Engineer – Agility Robotics, in Pittsburgh
📰 Big News Since MRSD: I got engaged to my partner and bought a house in Swissvale!
🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Working late the night before our evaluation and the motor driver board blew its fuse continuously
🤝 Reach out to me for: Open to anything (meet up, career chats, etc)! Would like to meet more MRSD folks in Pittsburgh!

Andy Tracy (Class of 2017)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory:  Testing our wheeled bot late at night in the lab, we hit an edge case in our code that set the velocity to the maximum value. The robot took off, flipped over, and broke our laptop. Moral of the story: write unit tests.

💼 Current Role: Senior Software Engineer – Seegrid Corporation, in McCandless Township, PA
📰 Big News Since MRSD: I got married in 2019 and have a 3 year-old son
⛳ Hobbies: Gardening, biking, banjo, D&D, building/making random project

Ben Kolligs (Class of 2022)

🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: I remember the joy of walking through the snow of squirrel hill on my way to NSH. As a California native this was jarring at first. The cast robots populating the NSH basement would lift my spirits after walking in the cold.

💼 Current Role: Senior Robotics Software Engineer – Ambi Robotics, in Berkeley, CA
📰 Big News Since MRSD: I’m getting married in September!
⛳ Hobbies:  I like to work on personal coding projects, walk my dog around the Berkeley Hills, cook delicious meals, and read all types of books!
🤝 Reach out to me for:All the above – also down to work on fun robots together if anyone has the itch

Fun memories continue!

Kalyani Nirmal (Class of 2014)

💼 Current Role: Software Development Engineer – Robotics – Amazon Lab126,
in Bay Area

⛳ Hobbies: Hiking, dancing, reading
🤝 Reach out to me for: Hiking recommendations or advice, resume advice

Chang Shi (Class of 2021)

💼 Current Role: PhD student – the University of Texas at Austin, in Austin, Texas
🤖 Fun MRSD Memory: Class of 2021 went to Gateway Clipper Fleet together after graduation ceromeny.
⛳ Hobbies: Tennis, skateboarding
🤝 Reach out to me for: Yes! Of course!

Quentin Cheng (Class of 2021)

💼 Current Role: Deep Learning / Computer Vision Engineer – AICrete, in San Francisco
⛳ Hobbies: Basketball
🤝 Reach out to me for: Robotics career advice

Ritwik Das (Class of 2018)

💼 Current Role: Software Engineer – Waymo, in Mountain View, CA
⛳ Hobbies: Playing Real Time Strategy Games, Doing Escape rooms, exploring different types of food
🤝 Reach out to me for: Investing advice for those early on in their career, job referrals

Braden Eichmeier (Class of 2021)

💼 Current Role:  Research Software Engineer – Hill Air Force Base, in Utah
📰 Big News Since MRSD: Published an early research paper at HPEC in modernizing USAF maintenance workflows. Participated in partnered research with MIT.
🤝 Reach out to me for: nything goes

Prateek Parmeshwar (Class of 2020)

💼 Current Role: Behavior Planning Engineer – Lucid Motors, in Bay Area
⛳ Hobbies: Hiking, running and binge watching hbo
🤝 Reach out to me for: Definitely hiking

Atulya Ravishankar (Class of 2020)

💼 Current Role: Software Engineer – Microsoft, in Seattle, WA
⛳ Hobbies: Chess, cricket, Formula One, Badminton

Akshay Venkatesh (Class of 2023)

💼 Current Role: Research Engineer – Meta, in Pittsburgh
⛳ Hobbies: Playing squash.

Jim Coyne (Class of 2012)

💼 Current Role: Lead Hardware Engineer – TRL 11, Inc, in Los Angeles
⛳ Hobbies: private pilot, Rock climbing, some stand up comedy
🤝 Reach out to me for: sure

Heethesh Vhavle Naresh (Class of 2020)

💼 Current Role: Senior Perception Engineer – Aeva, Inc, in Sunnyvale, CA


Saurabh Nair (Class of 2017)

💼 Current Role: Applied Scientist – Wayve AI, in San Francisco

Hillel Hochsztein (Class of 2020)

💼 Current Role: Lab Manager – Toyota Research Institute, in Boston, MA