The Midnight Mechanics are mentored by various teachers and community members who aspire to instill core FIRST values.


Shaoni Bandy

Ms. Bandy RUNS the show.

Dan Rupert



Nordine X. Hafidoun

I work at Solar Turbines, currently as the Facilities Engineering Manager for the Kearny Mesa plant.  I have worked for Solar Turbines for 21 years. Prior to working for Solar, I started my career as a race engineer, programming rally cars and track race cars' engines and data acquisitions.  I then moved into some aeronautics as a mechanical systems designer.  I studied Mechanical Engineering in Belgium at the Industrial Institute of Brussels and I moved to San Diego in 2001.   
Mentoring Team 812 is always a lot of fun. The team members are eager to learn the basics of software programming, mechanical design, manual work to create the robot.  As mentors, our first priority is to instill safety into everyone's mind then make sure every activity is a learning experience that will stay with the team member for the rest of their life. These experiences create the foundation of what they might do in the future. 
I also enjoy the fact that the team is not always taking itself too seriously and have a more relaxed attitude towards the competition. The team has enjoyed many wins, with and without the robot. Most of the wins without the robot stem from the team's commitment to community outreach. That is one of the great successes of this team. Last but not least, I enjoy the company of the other mentors. Mr Rupert is a force to be reckoned with, and Mr Lafleur and O'Neil are staples that guide the team to success.

Ted Kim

Mr. Kim LOSES children.


Dan O'NeilL

DAN O'NEILL is a software technology executive and developer. His
positions included VP of Engineering at The Experience Engine and
Certona, both big data analytics and personalization companies. Prior
to Certona, O'Neill was CTO and Exec. VP of Mood Media, a world wide
retail media services company. Mood Media purchased Trusonic, Inc. in
2007 where O'Neill was the co-founder, CTO and Exec. VP. During his
tenure the company reinvented digital delivery of preprogrammed audio
to retailers and grew the business more than 30% year over year.
Prior to co-founding Trusonic, O'Neill was the CTO of VU Net USA, a
division of Vivendi Universal responsible for,,
Pressplay (now Roxio/Napster), and eMusic. From 1999
to 2003 O'Neill was the VP of Engineering at where he assisted
in a $370m IPO and built the engineering, operations and analytics
teams. Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, named
O'Neill to its IPO Hall of Fame in 2000 and the School of Engineering
named O'Neill the 2009 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus. O'Neill
holds both a BSME and an MSCS degree from Santa Clara University.