Team Members


Team 246 at the FIRST Robotics Championship in St Louis on April 2012

Gary Garber


Gary Garber teaches physics, math, and engineering at Boston University Academy.   He earned his B.S in Astronomy from Haverford College and a M.A. in Physics from Boston University.   He also oversees the science and engineering research program for Academy students who spend their summer working in research laboratories at Boston University.   Gary is currently the President of the New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and has led dozens of professional development workshops on both the local and national level.  In the past three years he has won several awards including the Suffolk County Science Teacher of the Year Award, MIT Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award, the Above and Beyond Teacher Award from the Mass Technology Leadership Council and the Best Teacher Award from the New England Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.


Gary was on sabbatical from Boston University during the 2011-2012 year.  While on sabbatical he has flown an experiment on a NASA Reduced Gravity Flight and participated in a Teachers In Space workshop. He also consulted at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach where he worked in LEGO Robotics Education and is the Design Team lead for a collaborative and inquiry based Smart Textbook platform. His other activities are developing curricular materials for LabView and LEGO NXT for image processing and music.


His blog is at

Joseph M. Johnson

Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Joe has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois, a Masters & Ph.D. in M.E. from Purdue University. He’s a licensed Professional Engineer with over 20 patents. He worked for many years as an engineer in the auto industry. He co-founded Robotic Amusements, a start up that sought to put robots in arcade venues. He currently engineers home cleaning robots for iRobot in Bedford.

Dr. Joe has been involved in FIRST since 1995 when he co-found Team 47, Chief Delphi, now member of the FIRST Hall of Fame. He was the engineering lead and one of two main mentors for many years. Chief Delphi won many awards while he was associated with the team including Chairman’s Award, National Finalist, and many Regional Championship.

He has been associated with an number of other FRC Teams over the years including as a parent for Mech-Warriors (#573) and Juggernauts (#1), as lead technical mentor for Ursa Major (#2849), and as co-founder and lead technical mentor for Schrodinger’s Cat (#3958).

Dr. Joe is joining Overclocked hoping to help make one of the strongest brands in FIRST even stronger.

Kanav Dhir

My name is Kanav Dhir, and I am a sophomore studying electrical and computer engineering at Boston University College of Engineering. I am a FIRST Robotics alumnus, I spent all 4 High School years as a part of my High School FIRST Robotics team in Long Island New York, FIRST Team 353 The POBots. FIRST has greatly impacted my life, along with exposing me to the many avenues of engineering, mechanical, electrical and computer, it has introduced me to many important life skills.  FIRST Robotics helped me uncover my interests in science and technology and ultimately helped me decide to continue my education in the field of computer engineering. I have now taken a step into the next generation in FIRST Robotics and become a mentor for the Boston University Academy FIRST Team 246 Overclocked, hoping to share with them everything I have learnt from my years as a FIRST Student.

Jenny Botros

Jenny Botros is an electrical engineer. She earned both her bachelor of science and master of engineering degrees at Alexandria University in her home country of Egypt. She worked as a math and computer technology teacher for middle school classes in Sainte Jeanne Antide School also located in Alexandria, Egypt.

Her interest in robotics led her to become a robotics teacher at TechnoKids and Techno Future Canadian Franchise. She became a coach and has judged in many contests and science fairs. From 2007 until 2011 she coached a number of FLL teams which participated in local and international FLL contests in Egypt, USA, Lebanon and Jordan. In addition, she mentored participants with various projects in ISEF (Intel Science and Engineering Fair) in the USA and INEPO (International Environmental Project Olympiad) in Turkey. She was chosen as a judge in the MSA (Modern Sciences and Arts) university science fair section of electronics projects.

In April 2010, Jenny was promoted to be TechnoKids Egypt project manager and was responsible for monitoring and training teachers to a group of computer based technology curricula. Projects included programming, robotics and engineering activities for students aged 4 to 17 years old. The success achieved by this experiment over 5 main branches in Egypt sparked the spread of the organization to different middle eastern countries.

In 2012, she worked for the operational partner of the FLL-Egypt as a team leader of the organizing committee of the event.

This year Jenny moved to Boston with her family and is currently a volunteer mentor at the BU Academy for robotics activities.

Tom Halstead

Tom is a freshman studying mechanical engineering at the Boston University College of Engineering. He is a FIRST alumnus from FRC team 192 (GRT), as the co-Commissar of the pneumatics group. He also somehow became the go-to guy for CADding. Outside of FIRST he is in charge of developing ground support equipment for the BU Rocket Propulsion Group. His hobbies include fencing and flying virtual helicopters.

Thomas Lozanoski

Thomas is a biomedical engineering undergraduate in the Boston University College of Engineering. He recently joined the Ground Support Equipment team in the Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group, and he is looking forward toward using robotics to aid the team. He was the founder of FIRST Tech Challenge Team 5758 in St. John, Indiana. This is Thomas’s first year mentoring with BUA, and he is excited to help.

Ryan McGovern

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts
Mr. McGovern joined Aerodyne Research as an Instrument Engineer in 2006.   His background and graduate thesis work lie in the application of Optimal Control, nonlinear programming and dynamic programming algorithms.  He is now one of the lead designers of the Quantum Cascade Laser Trace Gas Detector.  His main responsibilities at Aerodyne include Instrument Development, Manufacturing and Sustainability.

Emily Stern

Emily Stern is a freshman at Boston University currently pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering concurrently with a Master’s degree of arts in Education. Emily’s participation with FIRST began when she was 6 years old. She started her FIRST career as a cheer leader for her brothers’ while they competed on FIRST Robotics team 353, the POBots. When she was old enough, she joined an FLL team and stayed there until she graduated to FRC. While on the POBots she made her way up to be the team president and lead engineer. She learned a lot from this great program, especially a lot about engineering. Other than engineering, she learned that she had a great passion for teaching engineering. She hopes to pursue this interest by becoming a high school engineering teacher that mentors a FRC team. She is having a great time so far mentoring FIRST team 246, and can’t wait for the years to come!

Jacob Nazarenko


Jacob Nazarenko has been on team 246 since his freshman year, and participates in building, programming, and modeling the team’s robot with CAD. He has years of experience working with PTC’s Creo CAD software, and has had summer internships with the company’s R&D department. Jacob also has experience in the Python and Java programming languages, and looks to do more development with these languages in the future. Aside from robotics, Jacob has played classical piano for twelve years, and has also been part of BUA’s soccer, crew, and cross country teams.

Aris Paschalidis

Aris is currently a senior at BUA who joined robotics his freshman year. He loves the building process of the robot and watching the masterpiece he helped build play different games. He participates in both VEX and FRC and is excited for the upcoming seasons. He also enjoys swimming and playing guitar.