East West

The secret to success is not having the most resources or skills; success in FIRST originates from exemplary mentors. As a leader, Greg Phillips guides us, as a mentor he inspires us, and as a teacher he opens our minds. 

Greg has been the leader and co-founder of Team 1114, Simbotics, for 12 years, transforming young aspiring Simbots into engaged ambassadors of STEM. As the recipient of the 2012 VEX world championship, and 2011 GTR East Volunteer of the 

year awards, Greg’s passion and commitment toward the betterment of the robotics community is unparalleled. He has created partnerships between Simbotics and other FIRST teams in the Niagara region and openly shares our facilities, which has been tremendously beneficial for both Simbotics and the FIRST community. Greg has also worked with our local district school board, implementing robotics into the previously lacking grade seven and eight curricula of all schools in our region. As a result of his endeavors, over ninety FLL and VEX teams have been established. 

A student-driven infrastructure has always been Greg’s main goal, never ceasing to give us opportunities to blossom as leaders, and ensuring students coordinate all team projects. To promote FIRST and VEX in our region, and to further hone our leadership skills, Greg has created a “Simbotic” relationship with local schools by initiating multiple student-led mentorships between Simbots and FLL and VEX teams. 

Greg has been a teacher of engineering and technology for eighteen years, sharing his expertise to all members of the team and others within the FIRST community. On top of guiding us throughout the prototyping phase of the build season, Greg constructs a series of workshops to clearly relay his knowledge of real-world industrial CAD techniques used for CNC mills and lathes. He does this while inspiring us to see the fun side of engineering, offering many tidbits of useful information whenever we encounter a tedious problem, and encouraging us to explore creative solutions. 

Through years of hard work and devotion to Simbotics, Greg has made gracious professionalism and excellence hallmarks of our team. To benefit both Simbotics and the FIRST community, he initiated our ‘Fix It Crew’ program, in which students aid other teams in mechanical, programming, and other issues throughout the competition season. During events, the Fix It Crew reaches out to all teams with difficult issues, and works with them throughout the competition until their problems have been solved. 

Greg has transcended the expectations of a mentor, investing every moment of his time and effort to our academic, and social success. He is the unsung hero of Simbotics, transforming unguided students into models of STEM excellence, and elevating a wishful rookie team to a member of the FIRST Hall of Fame.