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JETS’ Ravi Nanayakkara leads Rookie Team to Award-winning Season

Team 9512 receives the Rookie Inspiration Award at the state finals (mentor Ravi Nanayakkara is located on back row, far right).

Ravi Nanayakkara, Ph.D., an Electronics Design Engineer for JETS II, is not only an award-winning teammate (he received a Group Merit Award in 2022), he obviously has the “magical touch” as a mentor/supporter for his local Robotics Team.

In its rookie season, Ravi led the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 9512, Horsepower, from Kingwood High School in Kingwood, TX, to a pair of prestigious awards while advancing to the 2024 Texas State Championships.

Team 9512 advanced to the state by placing seventh and captaining an alliance in the Houston District Event, where they earned the Innovation in Control Award. The award celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components – electrical, mechanical, or software – to provide unique machine functions.

The award commendation stated “Look out! This rookie team has their foot on the accelerator and is ready to Take Off! They harnessed the power of a fresh idea to develop a pivotal concept for floor pickup and elegant, accurate shooting. Like a powerful engine, this robot delivered maximum performance from a minimalist footprint. Con-gratulations, Team 9512, Horsepower!

“The team worked out of my garage during spring break to prepare for this event,” said Ravi on March 28, 2024. “The team is looking forward to the Texas State event!” 

Eighty-six teams qualified for the state championships held April 4- 6, 2024, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX.

“The team had an awesome time at the state championship,” said Ravi. “We did not make it to the world championship, but we did win the Rookie Inspiration Award.

The award celebrates a rookie team’s out-standing success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as in their community.


“Winning two awards for a rookie team in one season was a great accomplishment with a limited budget and borrowing parts from other teams,” said Ravi. 

After such a successful rookie season, we can’t wait for next year!

Team 9512 receives the 2024 Innovation in Control Award at the district event.

Team 9512 Horsepower’s Robot.


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