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Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Researchers


Joshua Ahmed

Undergraduate Researcher Lab Manager

Joshua Ahmed is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student. Joshua is currently the undergraduate research lab manager and helps mediate the undergraduate research projects, increasing safety while structuring the lab to increase productivity. Before his primary project used to be 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 and an advisor to many of thier projects.

Madoka Oyama

Undergraduate Researcher Lab Manager Assistant 

Madoka Oyama is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student who transfered from College of San Mateo in the Fall of 2017. Her interest in sUAS brought her to the MESA lab in March 2018 to obtain hands-on technical experience. Oyama research focus is designing, constructing, and implementing controlled experiments with a low cost wind tunnel. 

Tomny Hang

Undergraduate Researcher

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. 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 Researcher and Drone Managment Advisor

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 drone managment advisor. Judith’s primary focus is increasing necessary structure to increase productivity to better assist the undergraduates conducting research. She is also the current president 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.

Jose Luis Arrieta

Undergraduate Researcher

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.

Christopher Currier

Undergraduate Researcher

Christopher Currier is a senior Anthropology major with a minor in Natural Science Education. Chris’s primary focus is developing innovative systems for UAS utlizing his extensive background in 3D modeling. With over 30 years of hands-on experience and being an FAA certified UAS pilot, he brings a profound knowledge and abilities towards advancing his own research as well as his colleagues. He is also a proud member of of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as a team member in the Design Build Fly team. Chris enjoys his free time at Lake Yosemite as a port captain and sailor. Chris is also an advanced/rescue scuba diver and surfer.


Jason Eckenrode

Undergraduate Researcher

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.