Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Researchers

Tomny Hang

Undergraduate Research Lab Manager

Tomny Hang is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student with a minor in Writing. Tomny's primary focus is researching on calculating wind biasness on a sUAS to better assist with methane detection. Tomny now works as the undergraduate research lab manager and helps mediate the undergraduate research projects, increasing safety while structuring the lab to increase productivity. He’s a member of UCMerced’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as a proud male member of Women in STEM. Tomny is a strong advocate for increasing more female presence in the engineering industry. Hang’s also has a unique interests outside of engineering include reading nonfictional books and writing short essays.

Judith Mendoza

Undergraduate Research Assistant Lab Manager

Judith Mendoza is a third-year mechanical engineering student and she currently works as a drone management advisor at the University of California’s Center of Excellence. Her strong interests and focused background in small unmanned aerial systems has brought her along as the assistant lab manager. Judith’s primary focus is increasing necessary structure to increase productivity to better assist the undergraduates conducting research. She is also a proud member and project manager for UCMerced’s chapter club of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her interests outside of drones include being in the outdoors and experiencing life.


Jason Eckenrode

Undergraduate Researching Assistant

Jason Eckenrode is a third-year Computer Science and Engineering student. He is currently part of a team researching drone technology in order to assist in GIS and Archeology field studies. He joined the Mesa lab in January 2018 and his main focus is on Sense and Avoidance sensors that help develop systems for autonomous drone flight. Among his interests Jason pursues the study of robotics, technology and the environment. He hopes to one day to apply the knowledge he gains from Mesa labs and UC Merced and work in a field that can combine these passions. This summer he will be assisting in an Archeological study in Belize using Drone technology to gather valuable mapping data.

Jose Luis Arrieta

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jose Luis Arrieta is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. His research is focused on implementing low-cost obstacle avoidance for small umanned aerial systems and robots. Arrieta’s passion for drones and robots stem from his childhood working with cars with his father in his hometown. He joined MESA Lab to gain deeper insight and experience in a world-class facility. He intends to pursue his master’s and doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Derek Tan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Derek Tan is a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He joined MESA with the purpose applying his academic and soft skills into the real world. This also allows him obtain hand on experience with all the equipment engineers use on the daily basis. On his spare time, he focus on photography and graphic designs. 

Joshua Ahmed

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Joshua Ahmed is a fourth- year mechanical engineering student. Joshua primary project is with the wind anemometer on quad-rotors and fixed wings. The main purpose is to find the optimal position to place the anemometer with the least amount of bias from the propellers. For the main purpose of better detecting methane leaks. He is also a member of UCMerced's American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. There Joshua is a active member of DBF working on the humming bird project which is a project to balance gas power and battery power on the to extend flight time on a fixed wing platform. Joshua is always willing