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Eric Principato
Class of 2012
Princeton University

In 2006 I went with my dad to check out the FIRST New Jersey Regional.  From up high in the stands I had no idea that in a few years I would be down on the field controlling a robot.  As a freshman, I joined my school’s one-year-old team.  Freshman and sophomore year I learned the ropes, and as a junior, became the CEO, lead programmer, and head driver.

FIRST is a sane person’s nightmare; the competition is extremely complex and time and money are short.  I guess that I’m insane then because I love FIRST.  My favorite thing about FIRST is that there isn’t just one way to do something.  Within each competition, there are a hundred different designs that accomplish the same task.  The hard part about FIRST isn’t just thinking of a solution; it’s actually making the solution, and that’s what engineering is all about.

Outside of FIRST I was on the RHS soccer team and spring track team and I love drawing complex buildings and mazes.  As the only boy (besides my dad) in a family with a set of triplets plus one, I sometimes go crazy, but I still love them.  To show my appreciation for them, I sucked them into FIRST so that they could also experience the joy of not having free time for six weeks.

Eric enjoys smiling a lot.