Staff Q&A with Jonathan Fiene
By: Evan Lerner
Jonathan Fiene’s office is adorned with posters of his favorite sporting events and festivals from the past five years. But these posters don’t feature superstar athletes or rock gods; they highlight an assortment of student-built robots, most of which could fit inside a coffee can.
As the director of laboratory programs for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and part of the academic support staff in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Fiene is perhaps best known for the “Design of Mechatronic Systems” class he leads and its ambitious final projects. The projects require students to prove that they have synthesized their lessons by pitting their final designs against one another in raucous competitions, including a robotic hockey tournament known as “Robockey.”