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Alumni Stories

Want to know what is going on with old Valor friends? Stay up to date with the latest stories about our alumni! 

A Future in Space Robots

Working as an artificial intelligence and robotics engineer has given Timothy Werder ‘13 a fascinating opportunity to use his work on space robots for the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., as an engineer, on the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program using robots as a lifeline for the satellites in orbit. His love for robotics began during his years at Valor.

A foundation in coding during high school led Timothy to his pursuit in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and a master’s degree in robotics engineering with an emphasis in artificial intelligence and project management from the University of Maryland College Park.

Grappling with high school life and coursework taught Timothy what he needed to be successful — not just math and physics courses — but also the ability to stand up in front of classmates and be confident doing a presentation or learning to work collaboratively on projects. “It can make the difference between how hard pursuing STEM can be and how far you get in that [or any] career,” says Timothy, who encourages students to get support and take courses in different areas of interest that will help in school and a future career. Timothy states, “Mr Anderson [mathematics] and Mr. Spicer [physics] were crucial figures for expanding my depth into all of the different avenues and curiosities in Science, Math, and Technology.”

Taking an Art+Media acting course taught Timothy to understand the creative side of his analytical endeavors. “Ms. Hammons [chemistry] was engaging, encouraging and patient,” says Timothy, who also considers Mr. Muenstermann, Performing Arts Faculty, a friend and mentor figure. “He is possibly one of the best men for sculpting and forming young minds to be brave and confident in their abilities,” explains Timothy, who implores students to step out and try new classes or activities during their high school years as it may lead to a future they didn’t know was possible.

To learn more about Valor’s STEM endorsement, click here.

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