Meet the ERAU Team Leads

Written by: Sam Victor, ERAU Communications Manager

The Embry-Riddle EcoEagles team is comprised of unique team members with extremely diverse backgrounds. Our team members are earning degrees in a range of topics such as mechanical engineering, business, homeland security, human factors, aeronautical science, and spaceflight operations. Being a university centered around aerospace gives our team a unique perspective on the project that cannot be matched by any other university participating in the competition. Let’s introduce you to our team leaders below!

Robert Consolo

My name is Robert Consolo and I am the Project Manager for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s EcoEagles. My responsibilities include overseeing the completion of our EcoCAR deliverables, tracking the progress of our sub-teams, finding ways to boost productivity, budgeting our project and securing funding for necessities.

I am pursuing a dual masters degree with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a M.B.A. My hometown is New York City. I am avidly interested in joining the space industry having completed internships at NASA, SpaceX, & Boeing. Rockets and the journey to space for humans have always been something I wanted to pursue.

David Cicotte

My name is David Cicotte and I am the Engineering Manager for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s EcoEagle team. My responsibilities include overseeing the completion of our EcoCAR deliverables, tracking the progress of our sub-teams and finding ways to boost productivity, and budgeting our project and securing funding for necessities. I also get to help the Connected and Automated Vehicle systems (CAVs) team develop our Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). I get to simulate radar and camera detections for sensor fusion research in MATLAB, visualize LiDAR point-clouds to determine optimal sensor layouts in Unity, and design the sensor suite for our 2019 Chevrolet Blazer.

I am pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with an area of concentration on Robotic Systems. My beloved hometown is West Lebanon, New Hampshire where it is cold most of the year, but I am extremely fond of the tropical weather that Florida is known for. I used to enjoy snowboarding when I lived in a state where that was possible, but skateboarding has filled that void for me ever since I ventured to pursue my real passion at Embry-Riddle. I hope that when I graduate, I will continue aiding the development of autonomous systems until they take over the world and I am left to bask in the glory of the future I helped create.

Alex Bassett

My name is Alex Bassett and I am a Co-Lead of the Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) swim lane for the ERAU EcoEagles. This means that I organize and manage the CAVs sub-team, which is comprised of around 60 multidisciplinary senior design students from the ME and ECSSE departments. The goal of our team is to enable the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer to drive itself in limited environments, such as highways, with driver supervision. The team is responsible for processing the sensor data, developing the control algorithms, and simulating the whole system.

I’m working towards a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and my goal is to develop software for robotics applications, such as autonomous vehicles! My hometown is Marietta, Georgia. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball and ultimate frisbee.

Austin Russell

Hi, my name is Austin Russell. I’m a master’s student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and I am studying mechanical engineering with a concentration on high performance vehicles. I am originally from North East, PA, so Daytona Beach is quite a welcoming change. I chose Embry-Riddle because of the wonderful year-round weather and the small class sizes.

I chose to study engineering because I enjoy solving problems and couldn’t see myself doing anything else. In my spare time I enjoy doing metal fabrication projects as well as building my tiny house on wheels. My position on the team is the Propulsion System Integration Lead. This means I am responsible for the integration of any components into the Blazer including propulsion systems, ESS, and HVAC.


Shannon Wiggins

My name is Shannon Wiggins and I am a team lead within the Powertrain Control and Modeling sub-team for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s EcoEagles. I am responsible for making sure the model is up to date and accurately reflects what we expect would occur in real world testing. I am doing this while finishing my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in high performance vehicles. I chose to study this after switching from Engineering Physics where I discovered I preferred the engineering courses over the physics courses.

I chose to study at Embry-Riddle in large part because it’s located in my hometown and so I was able to stay close to my family. In my spare time I enjoy reading, running, and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Once I finish my degree, I will be moving to Michigan to begin a career with General Motors where I hope to continue to develop my engineering skills and contribute to the development of our society.

Dominic Jeancola

Hello, my name is Dominic Jeancola and I am one of the team leads for the ERAU EcoCAR Eagles. I am the Propulsion Controls and Modeling Lead. I work on developing the control logic that will make all our new powertrain components work together. I am originally from Deland, Florida which is right down the road from ERAU. My hobbies include playing baseball, cooking, going to the beach, and video games.

I ended up at Embry-Riddle because I wanted to play baseball and get an engineering degree, so it was the perfect fit. I chose engineering because I love learning about how things work and trying to find ways to improve them. My future goals are to get a job where I can work on developing cutting edge technology and continue to learn and improve as an engineer. I recently accepted a job with General Motors and will be moving to Michigan after I graduate to be a controls engineer.

Jayaprakash Shivakumar

Hello, my name is Jayaprakash Shivakumar. My major is Aerospace Engineering and I am originally from Bangalore, India. My hobbies include swimming, playing pool, scuba diving and watching movies.

My position on EcoCAR is the Electrical Team Lead and my responsibilities include designing low voltage and high voltage wiring harnesses using VeSys software and schematics using Eagle. I ensure the integration of electrical design with the CAVs architecture and Mechanical CAD model of the vehicle.

I decided to study engineering so I could help strengthen society through technology. My future goal is to conduct research in advanced rocket propulsion.

Alex Shiffer

Hello, my name is Alex Shiffer and I am one of the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Sub-Team Leads. I just recently graduated with my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and am now pursuing my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with focus in Robotic and Autonomous Systems. My responsibilities include managing 60 capstone design students in mechanical, software, electrical, and computer engineering in conjunction with our other CAV Lead. I oversee the design and integration of sensor and computer hardware into the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. I also oversee the simulation of different Adaptive Cruise Control strategies and their impact on the Blazer’s energy efficiency.

I am originally from North Lewisburg, Ohio and my hobbies include flying, SCUBA diving, snowboarding, playing musical instruments, and traveling.

I chose to study engineering at Embry-Riddle because I enjoy technical problem solving and learning about cutting edge technology. I also wanted to pursue my commercial pilot certificate while taking advantage of Florida’s spectacular weather. My future goal is to start my own company in autonomous systems technology.

Mikaela Hakamaa

My name is Mikaela Hakamaa and I am graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering this Fall 2019 and have already begun a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. I am the System Safety Lead Engineer for EcoCAR at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). I am also a varsity runner on the ERAU Cross Country and Track & Field teams, so balancing a student-athlete life has been a challenge. I came to ERAU for the great engineering program and the vast opportunities for hands-on experiences and was then recruited by Coach Hopfe, Cross Country and Track & Field coach, once I was accepted to the University.

I was born in Colorado and grew up in a military family, so I have lived all over the United States and a few years in Europe. Traveling around has allowed me to enjoy versatile cultures and interactions with new people. By never having had a home base, my instinct is to explore the world and continue to learn as much as I can leading me to take interest in mechanical engineering for its multifaceted nature. In the future I would like to be able to travel for work and continue to broaden my horizons and strengthen international relations in technological innovation and development.

Sam Victor

Hello, my name is Sam Victor, I am a junior at ERAU and am working towards a B.S. in Homeland Security with minors in Cyber Security and Forensic Accounting. I am from Leesburg, FL and my hobbies include autocross, drag racing, working on/building race cars, and automotive photography.

I am the Communications Manager for ERAU EcoCAR. This means I am responsible for communicating on behalf of the EcoEagles to the school and outside organizations, organizing events for the team, and documenting the team’s efforts.

I chose to study at ERAU because of the student culture and the prominent car culture around the Daytona Beach area. My future goal is to work for General Motors or in the racing industry. Eventually, if I ever got the chance, I would like to start my own racing team.