Meet the 2018 University of New Mexico Solar Splash team! The team is comprised of eight senior level undergrad Mechanical Engineering students and five undergrad Electrical Engineering students. With the guidance of graduate level instructor, Daniel Taylor, and under the leadership and advisement of UNM Professor, Peter Vorobieff, the team is chasing a first place trophy in June. The electrical engineering team is also under the guidance of graduate students Cameron Pouncey and Leo Rossetti. The two engineering disciplines are fully integrated in the design of the boat and its solar power system. Meet our team below!




Daniel Taylor
ASME and Pi Tau Sigma member

Daniel already has a deep passion for the water, spending much of his childhood on a sailboat in Puget Sound. As the Graduate Legacy Mentor he has been helping to get everyone moving together in the right direction and staying on task and organized in the many roles each person plays. Keeping the team small allows each member to be directly involved and stay passionate about the project, something that is important to the team. Daniel led the initial development of last year’s team, including selecting the members and the design of the hull. Daniel is currently employed at Sandia National Laboratories. He is now graduated and is continuing to work while pursuing his master’s degree at UNM.


Cameron Pouncey 

Electrical Engineering Graduate Mentor

Cameron Pouncey is the team lead for the UNM Solar Splash electrical engineers. A fourth-year PhD student and the manager of the APERIODIC laboratory, he obtained his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering degree in 2003 from Florida State University and a master of science in electrical engineering in 2017 from the University of New Mexico. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Florida. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Cameron spent 10 years working as an engineer for various defense contractors. His experience includes the design of power distribution systems, safety-critical military vehicle systems, embedded controls, counter-IED systems, and high-voltage pulsed-power systems. His current research focuses on the development of new high-voltage and pulsed-power systems and technologies.


Erich Brown
UNM Mechanical Engineering

I originally grew up in Sacramento, CA and ended up in New Mexico when I enlisted  in the Air Force. After being stationed in Clovis, NM for 5 years I decided to go back to school for Mechanical Engineering. Now that I'm close to graduating, my goals are to finish graduate school and get a job working on awesome projects. Goals for this project are to learn how to work with a team that is mixed with different disciplines to build a winning vessel. Some of my hobbies are to spend time with my family, camping, fishing, snowboarding, four wheeling, and building/fixing things around the house.


Luis Hernandez
UNM Mechanical Engineering

I am from a small town called Deming New Mexico. On the outskirts of Deming towards Hatch, New Mexico, lies a wind farm. Every time we drove by them, I aspired to understand how they produced energy for us to use. The more I learned through grade school, the more I realized that Engineering was for me. Renewable energy along side of material testing has been one of my main points of interest as a Mechanical Engineer. The Solar Splash design course incorporates the use of solar panels to drive a boat. I expect to learn from my peers in the Solar Splash team as well as improve my ability to work with renewable energy.


Ally Jackman
UNM Mechanical Engineering

Ally works as an Energy Engineering Intern at Vibrantcy and is particularly interested in
sustainable energy and Biomimicry. She looks forward to getting hands on experience with solar applications and working in a dynamic team. She spent time studying in California and returned to New Mexico to have her son. She now lives in Santa Fe and plans to join the workforce after graduation and eventually attain her master's degree in Biomimicry in the years to come. 


Elisabeth Keller
UNM Mechanical Engineering

My name is Elisabeth Keller. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I like math, latch hook (craft thing), reading, and I like to bake sweet things. I know how to speak German. I love staying busy. I have learned Matlab, C#, some Creo/Solidworks and am working on learning Python. I would like our team not only to place in competition but also to have learned from this project lessons that will apply to the rest of our lives. Solar energy will be used more often in the future and this is a great opportunity to learn about it. This will be a great way to finish my pursuit of my bachelor's degree and get me started on my master's.


Kevin McConnell
UNM Mechanical Engineering

Kevin McConnell is a senior student at the University of New Mexico pursuing his BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering through the department’s shared credit program. Though his studies have given him an opportunity to explore the theoretical world of many different engineering and science disciplines, he considers his hands-on experience operating nuclear reactors for the United States Navy as truly invaluable. When he isn’t occupied with school work or participating in research as an intern for Sandia National Laboratories, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.


Christopher Murtagh
UNM Mechanical Engineering

Christopher was born in New Jersey, but has spent most of his life in Nevada and New Mexico.  He has always enjoyed math and science and has found enjoyment in the challenging field of engineering.  Christopher sees Solar Splash to be an opportunity to gain insight on the positives as well as the pressing issues with renewable energy.  He has experience with boats when he spent time as an intern at Wolf Engineering conducting sediment analysis on a motorized cataraft.  Christopher is currently an intern in the Power Sources Department at Sandia National Laboratories.  After graduation, he will be continuing his education to get his Master’s Degree in materials science and solid mechanics. 


Ramon Reyes
UNM Mechanical Engineering

My name is Ramon ‘Ray’ Reyes and I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. I attended St. Pius X High School and am a senior at UNM pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. I began working at Sandia National Laboratories in May 2017 and am currently working there, still. I plan to attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico and I plan to study Materials Science. I hope to maintain my position as an intern at Sandia National Laboratories throughout graduate school and I may explore other options once I complete my Masters. I hope to learn more in computational engineering and pursue a career in that field. As for the team, I will be giving my best effort to ensure that my work is done efficiently and in a timely manner. I want that Gold Trophy in Ohio!


Keith Soules
UNM Mechanical Engineering

My name is Keith Soules. I am a native New Mexican from Las Cruces. I originally studied Spanish and Portuguese at UNM receiving a bachelors degree in Spanish with a minor in Portuguese. Upon completing my Spanish degree I spent a few years working at various local businesses, which eventually led to a position working for a privately-owned engineering firm. This inspired me to return to UNM to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I am now completing the final semester of my bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and am proud to be a member of the UNM Solar Splash team for 2018. I look forward to working with the rest of the team exploring, new ideas, and building on the foundation laid out for us by previous teams. Following graduation, I intend to pursue a graduate degree focusing on renewable energy.  


David Diaz

UNM Electrical Engineering

 I'm an Electrical Engineering student for Universidad Nacional de Colombia doing an Exchange program at UNM, my main interest is work on renewable energy projects, i see a huge opportunity in the future for me and for my country, there is a developing market that needs to be boosted particularly in Colombia, that's one of the reasons I decided to accept the opportunity to work on Solar Splash. I've learned some concepts and develop some skills that will be useful in my future. I have the intention to come back to UNM for my masters and keep working on the same area.

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Craig Robertson 

UNM Electrical Engineering

Craig Robertson is a husband, father of two, and a Flight-Test Engineer currently working for Honeywell Aerospace in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has over 12 years of combined technician and engineering experience in military and civilian avionics. Craig joined the Air Force right out of High School in 2005 and worked integrated avionics systems on F-16 Fighters. In 2009 he honorably separated from the military at the end of his enlistment and after a short time in the solar industry, decided to go into civilian avionics repair. While working as an avionics technician Craig earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from UNM in 2016.  Craig joined the solar-splash team for a variety of reasons but mainly because it is hands-on and gives him the opportunity to do architecture, fabrication, installation, and testing throughout the semester. Also, it sounded like a fun way to finish off his MS in Electrical Engineering.


Leonardo Rossetti

UNM Electrical Engineering (Graduate)

 Leonardo was born and raised in Las Vegas! The small, small, small town in northern New Mexico. He went to UNM to study electrical engineering and then graduated in May of 2017 with his bachelors. Currently he is a graduate student researching in the field of pulsed power and high voltage design down in the ECE departments dungeon (basement). Making things is his passion and in pulsed power research not a lot can be bought so he’s happily spending his time designing and testing. He joined solar splash because of his interest working in an interdisciplinary team on a larger scale project. His passion is in engineering project management and is eager to see what the team can accomplish this year.

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William Randell Green

UNM Electrical Engineering

Randy is an Electrical Engineering major focusing on Power/Energy and Electromagnetics.   After taking classes in Photovoltaics and Electric Machines (Motors), SolarSplash seemed like the perfect project.  "Seeing concepts from previous classes being actually utilized to construct a working, hopefully high-performance, solar powered boat is exciting.  We have a great team and I am very happy I chose to work on this project." Randy enjoys shorts, flip flops, sunsets, and long sits on the beach with a cold beverage.

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James Richards

UNM Electrical Engineering

I  am a graduate electrical engineering student at UNM with an emphasis in power electronics and circuit design. I joined the solar splash team to gain more experience working on motor drivers, power supplies, and battery management circuits. 



Ted Sterns

UNM Electrical Engineering

Ted is a senior student in electrical engineering, and the Solar Splash telemetry team is his senior design project.  His focus is on power and energy systems, and currently he is an assistant to Dr. Cavallo and Vijay Saradhi Mangu researching photovoltaic materials.  Upon graduation, he hopes to work for a utility in transmission and station design or at one of the national labs researching the same.

Previous Year's Teams

2017 Team


2016 Team