Rob Shiely

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  • Will graduate in May with a degree in Physics.
  • Exploring careers in either the Air Force or at a Robotics firm
  • Joined UNC Robotics Club and discovered his true passion. Is already teaching an Introduction to Robotics class as an undergraduate
  • With the aid of a space grant from NASA, he is a member of the team that is building small and large rovers that could be used in future space exploration

A Love of Physics and a Passion for Robotics

Rob Shiely was raised in Clinton, Connecticut, and as luck would have it, had an uncle who lived in Eagle, Colorado. Because he always enjoyed his visits, Rob decided to check out different universities in Colorado online while he was in high school. “Even though I’d never been to UNC, I applied sight unseen,” he said. “It was truly one of the best decisions I ever made.”

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UNC offered a degree in Physics with an emphasis in Engineering, which was perfect for Rob. He’s always been curious about how things work. How things move through the atmosphere. How motors run. How trees bend in the wind. He thinks it’s fun to experiment with how things interact, and then find equations that govern those interactions.

Rob has thrived at UNC. “You get a lot of attention and access to faculty as an undergraduate. It’s feels like you’re in a grad school environment. It’s pretty remarkable.”

He’s also enjoyed being involved in programs outside the classroom, like the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. It’s a NASA funded program to help students get hands-on experience with space-related activities. Through the consortium he worked on a rocket project with students from Colorado State University, the University of Wyoming and the University of Puerto Rico to launch a rocket 70 miles into space.

He’s also been heavily involved in the Lazarus Chassis Project, funded by the Space Grant Consortium. The goal is to create an internet remote-controlled chassis that can carry payloads on other planets. So far, the chassis has been remotely controlled by students as far away as China.

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Rob worked on the chassis assembly in collaboration with Precision Metal Manufacturing in Northglen, Colorado. “Working with companies on this project has really helped prepare me for my career post college.”

Rob’s work in robotics has also led him to his internship with RoadNarrows Robotics in Loveland. The intelligent systems company has offered Rob a permanent position after graduation, though he still hopes to join the Air Force and be involved in research.

"All I know is my education at UNC has prepared me for my career, both academically and experientially."

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