2019 Robotics Challenge Scholarship Winner Announced

Noah Santoni of Richardson, Texas, is the winner of the 2019 NFPA Robotics Challenge Scholarship. The scholarship program received 76 applications this year and helps build awareness of fluid power benefits and careers among high school students.

This scholarship program awards $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) to a high school senior who participates in a FIRST® Robotics or National Robotics League Competition Team and uses fluid power in the competition robot. The money awarded may be used to study engineering at any accredited technical college or university in the United States. Noah will be using the scholarship to pursue a degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Noah already has a background in a number of engineering-related activities:

I live in Richardson, Texas (a suburb of Dallas) and I went to Jesuit College Preparatory School. My hobbies include reading, board games, 3D printing, 3D design, and robotics. I chose to attend Case Western Reserve University because of the mid-sized student body, its plentiful research opportunities, and its incredible maker space on campus. On top of that, its focus on strong academics and excellent engineering program creates an environment I think I will thrive in.

I participated in FIRST robotics for all 4 years of high school. I was a member of Team 2848 for 3 years, playing in the finals in 2017 and winning the Dean’s List award in 2018. In 2019 I helped create Team 2714, a brand new Dallas area community team. We won two industrial design awards and made it to the championship.

This scholarship will allow me to go to Case Western and release a lot of the financial pressure on my parents and me. Not only will it let me focus more heavily on school work, but it will also allow me some breathing room over the next four years.

This year, fluid power was the reason my robotics team was successful as our two mechanisms that scored points required fluid pressure. Additionally, fluid power was the easiest way to accomplish the FIRST Robotics Competition challenges. It ensured that my team moved on to the championship. Going forward I want to learn more about and explore hydraulic systems, as FIRST does not allow those in their competition.

The NFPA judges who interviewed Noah were impressed by his knowledge of pneumatics and his sincere interest in the fluid power industry and careers. Thank you to all of our judges: Andrew Kleitsch of Caterpillar, Bill Haley of FORCE America, Jim Kaas of Iowa Fluid Power, Bob Hammond of Deltrol Fluid Products, Bradlee Dittmer and Charles Werdehoff of IMI Precision, Tom Peterson of HUSCO, Frank Langro of Festo, Jeff McCarthy of SunSource, Liz Rehfus and Tom Blansett of the International Fluid Power Society and Travis Schmidt of HydraForce.

If you would like to be a judge for next year’s Robotics Challenge Scholarship applications, please contact Lynn Beyer at lbeyer@nfpa.com or (414) 778-3364.