The NXT Team
New innovations are achieved when a talented and diverse team are brought together and take aim at a common goal. Understanding the importance of a strong team, the NeuroTechnology Exploration has brought in top-tier minds from across disciplines and universities. Researcher specialties include: neuroscience, electrical engineering, machine learning, artificial intelligence, game development, software engineering, cyber security, biomedical engineering, business, new media design, and more.
Professional and Academic Advisors
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Faculty Associate - Partnership for Effective Access Technology Research & Development
Vice President for Research and Associate Provost at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dean, University Studies Division, and Executive Director, School of Individualized Study, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Ph.D., University of Iowa. Expertise in Higher Education Innovation, Work and Learning, and American Intellectual History.
Mr. Gary Mendola
RIT Saunders College of Business Alumnus.
Retired executive from Eastman Kodak Company.
Gary is a member of the RIT President’s Roundtable, the RIT Ellingson Society, and the RIT Effective Access Technology Executive Committee.
He is an RIT mentor to Harrison Canning, providing guidance to the project as a general advisor.
NXT Board of Directors
Dr. Dan Phillips, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org - Director of Effective Access Technology, Primary Faculty Advisor
Harrison Canning HarrisonC@mail.rit.edu - Acting Executive Lead, Co-Founder
Forrest Shooster email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org - Former NXT Project Lead; President / Founder, Argzero Technologies, LLC
Reid Kovacs email@example.com - Acting Executive Lead, Fabric Project Lead
Dr. Zhi Zheng, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org - Assistant Professor and Researcher
Dr. Ryne Raffaelle, Ph.D. email@example.com - Vice President for Research at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Dr. James (Jim) Hall, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org - Dean of University Studies; Executive Director, School of Individualized Study
Gary Mendola email@example.com - RIT Alumni, Business Community Professional
Colin Fausnaught firstname.lastname@example.org - Former Executive Lead, Co-Founder
Christine Lang email@example.com - Senior Staff Assistant for Academic Advising and Student Services and Academic Affairs at RIT
Nader Anvari firstname.lastname@example.org - Market Development Executive, Business Community Professional
Current Executive Leads (ELs)
Harrison Canning, Pursuing BA in Neurotechnology at RIT
Pursuing a Bachelors of Innovation Sciences in Neurotechnology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Harrison Canning is deeply dedicated to the advancement of brain-computer interfaces and has been for over 8 years. This dedication has lead him to start several business ventures, seek alternative and high level learning opportunities in neuroscience, business, and computer science, and job shadowing in research labs at Yale University. Harrison came to RIT with the goal of building highly impactful technology systems and igniting public interest surrounding them.
Reid Kovacs, Pursuing BS in Electrical Engineering at RIT
Pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Reid Kovacs has been a significant contributor on all hardware fronts at NXT, has been the lead for the wearable modular electrodes team (Fabric Electrodes team), and has dedicated significant time outside of NXT work and classwork to connecting NXT to key industry partners that will help NXT to achieve it major goals.
Current Project Leads (PLs)
Brenton Cousins ⇒ Thought Keyboard team
Adam Del Rosso ⇒ Wheelchair team
Brian Siskind & Holly Gubanc ⇒ Prosthetics team
Reid Kovacs ⇒ Fabric Electrodes team
Russel Cobb ⇒ Hardware Development team
Various ⇒ Content team
Open Position ⇒ Biosignal-Controlled Accessible Games team
ResearchersContributors who have achieved "Researcher" status for their consistent contributions and adherence to lab policies.
Active researchers are listed under a team label. Other researchers who contribute outside specific teams or in amore tangential capacity or non-core-research-based team members are listed at the bottom.
from RIT unless otherwise mentioned
Andrew Doran - Signal Processing Engineer / Neuroscientist
Andrew Dettor - Data Scientist
Nathaniel Zhang - Neuroscientist
Andrew Chabot - Software Scientist / Firmware Scientist
Owen Brewer - Hardware Scientist
Open Position - Integration Scientist
Open Position - Mechanical Designer
Open Position - PCB Designer
Katie Mayer - Component developer
Daniel Schonfeld - Component developer
Holly Gubanc - Component developer
Jude Senuarine - Component developer
Derrick Kempster- Programming developer
Open Position - Component developer
Open Position - Component developer
Open Position - Component developer
Open Position - Programming developer
Riley Fitzpatrick - ML Developer
Jimmy He - ML Developer
Jisook Moon - UI Developer
Calvin Do - UI Developer
Opportunities for proposals are available.
More information will be posted soon.
Please email either Harrison, Reid, or Forrest with further questions.
Forrest is currently scouting talent in this area.
Harrison Canning - Executive Lead
Reid Kovacs- Executive Lead, Fabrics Team Project Lead
Brenton Cousins - Thought Keyboard Project Lead
Adam Del Rosso - Wheelchair Project Lead
George Stollsteimer - Prosthetics Project Lead
Brian Siskind - Prosthetics Project Lead
Abby Shtekler (Fordham)
Awardees / Notable Contributors
Firstly, our named awards for highly significant contributions and shaping effects to NXT's structure and function today...
Leaving a Legacy Award
For significant contributions to the Neurotechnology Exploration team prior to their graduation, the "Leaving a Legacy" award is meant to signify the the appreciation NXT and its leadership / members have for the contributions of a given member of the team. The award is given extremely sparingly only to those who have made major contributions that changed the structure, methods, or coordination of the organization in a significant way. These members are granted a spot on the NXT Board, subject to their acceptance to be able to continue contributing to the organization after their graduation. This award is reserved for graduating seniors.
A former Thought Keyboard team Project Lead, Forrest contributed to NXT's structure by having the organization attempt to formalize its requirements for researchers, ELs, and PLs. He contributed to various teams using his biomedical engineering and signal processing background to guide the application of EMG and EEG techniques in NXT's research. He also started NXT on the road to performing human subjects data collection and succeeded, in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Phillips, PhD and Harrison Canning in achieving NXT's first human subjects trial approval through the RIT IRB. He has guided NXT in research protocol design and provided direct support in many of NXT's activities. Forrest Shooster is the founder and president of Argzero Technologies, LLC which designs research technologies and performs research design and implementation services for academic research, independent research labs, education, and nonprofits and is planning to pursue MD and PhD degrees in the not too far future. Through Argzero Tech, Forrest plans to continue to provide research software and technologies for use in NXT's future studies through a partnership with NXT.
Executive Choice Award
For recognition of exemplary performance and dedication to NXT, the Executive Choice Award is reserved for candidates whom the current Executive Leads believe to be of great character and motivation who have made such significant strides that the Executive Leads believed them deserving of significant recognition.
Niko has lead two highly effective teams and dedicated far more than 400 hours to NXT. He has mentored his peers and served as a driving force of NXT during many times of low motivation and difficult research tasks. Niko's drive to succeed has lead him to work in the games industry after leading our Games and Game Controller projects and producing unbelievable success. His contributions to a custom in-house game engine, capable of running OpenGL and Vulkan with great speed will most certainly prove significant in the years to come.
Leadership & Excellence Award
For recognition of exemplary contributions and dedication to NXT, excellency in leadership and communication, driving development of new technologies on their team or others, and more, this award is limited to Executive Leads or Project Leads whose contributions go far beyond the bounds of their position's duties. These individuals have showcased NXT's value outside our organization, or deeply strengthened organizational ties in a foundational way, or otherwise evoked from NXT's Leadership significant appreciation or respect. These individuals are thus awarded for their outstanding character, outstanding leadership, and excellence in execution of their duties as a Lead in NXT.
A BS/MS student in Electrical Engineering at RIT, founder of the Fabric Electrode Team, and now a member of the NXT Board of Directors as a new Executive Lead, for his contribution of new ideas, excellency in leadership and communication, driving development of new technology (Fabric Electrodes), and other notable contributions to inter-team discussion, critique, and communications, Reid Kovacs is more than deserving of this award for his notable contributions to NXT. He has forged industry partnerships, driven team collaboration with those industry partners, and also served as a point of contact on handling electronics design across numerous teams. He was the go-to guy to ask questions about electronics at NXT, and was a major contributor to our organization even while on co-op/internship! For his intense dedication, passionate efforts, and boundless contributions, Reid has definitely earned the Leadership & Excellence Award.
Employee of the Year Award
This award is specifically reserved for researchers or members employed by NXT for various contributions which may not be focused on a single team or truly fit under a lead designation. These individuals can also often make major impacts on NXT, its development, and its membership. Thus, the employee who most contributes to NXT, and does so in so significant a way that it affords NXT's leadership significant reason to give this award in the way of improving NXT's structure, organization, or communications, and any other major contributions whilst maintaining outstanding character and initiative throughout the academic year is then eligible for this award.
For exemplary work, improving workplace culture, creating more efficient workflows, and being an invaluable assistant to various research teams, Asa has certainly earned this award and our deepest appreciation. Asa not only was invaluable to our executives during times of great pressure and enormous workloads, but a great friend to many members both in and outside the workplace. Asa's work, however, too extended beyond expectations in his major contributions during many group discussions for various teams and ad hoc projects. He proved to be an invaluable member of the discussion too on many occasions. Asa's dedication and great work ethic shall not be forgotten, and for this reason and more, we chose to award him the Employee of the Year Award.
Ace of Initiative Award
Reserved for those who have such significant initiative that their impact is felt throughout their team or NXT as a whole. Though not restructuring the organization, or devising new tools or brand new technologies that shape our future efforts, these individuals played a part in multiple teams by strengthening our internal communications and making consistent major contributions to idea discussions and their own team's work. This award is limited to those who are NOT Executive or Project Leads.
For showing dedication to the team wherever it was needed. Derrick was an active contributor on several projects and expressed a willingness to learn and grow with the team. Derrick always stepped up to the plate regardless of the problem and worked hard to find a solution. He was a passionate ambassador of NXT at events and an essential member of the team.
Next, our awards for other notable significant contributions to NXT...
As of yet, NXT does not have smaller awards. When the day comes that we find it is time to start offering these. We'll post those here.
Former Executive Leads
Colin Fausnaught , Former Executive Lead, EMGo Wheelchair Team Lead
Over the course of his time at RIT, Colin worked extensively with brain-computer interfaces both inside and outside of academic contexts. In the summer of 2017 he interned at OpenBCI, where he spearheaded some interesting projects including the control and manipulation of robotic prosthetics. Colin went on to work in the Simone Center with a project entitled DADCo, where he and his team created an award-winning prototype for a wheelchair driven with EMG technology (1st place at the Destler Health Challenge at Imagine RIT 2017, 2nd place at the Access Technology Conference in 2017). He has had extensive experience with social media marketing, management of technical teams, prototyping and innovating with biosignal projects, and is looking to apply his knowledge to practical applications and further our understanding of NeuroTechnology.