Jared Levin with two robots built by the Temple Robotics Club
Casey Tinney

Junior Electrical Engineering Major and President of the Robotics Club, Jared Levin, has his eyes on a master's degree and career in robotics, and thanks to the Butz Scholarship those goals can be achieved in that order. 

"It's really big for me and my family," said Levin on being the 2023 recipient of the Butz Scholarship, a scholarship established by former College of Engineering Professor Dr. Brian Butz and his wife, Temple alumna Susan Butz.  

As a Junior, Levin has been weighing his options for post-grad life. While his main goal was to pursue a master's degree in robotics engineering, Levin's plan was to work full-time for a few years before starting graduate school. However, with the Butz Scholarship, pursuing a master's immediately after earning his bachelor's could now be a reality. 

Levin is the current President, Programming Lead, and Electrical Co-Chair of the Temple Robotics Club. The club is currently working towards their annual NASA Robotic Mining competition held every May, and for the first time since 2019, they are making a robot from scratch for the competition. 

As Programming Lead, Levin reviews all codes written for the robot, and even writes a fair amount of it himself. His role as Electrical Co-Chair is more behind the scenes as he works on electrical schematics. While Levin thoroughly enjoys the technical side of his roles in the Robotics Club, he greatly values the mentorship aspects of his leadership roles. 

Levin makes it a point to ensure that all members of the club are getting hands-on experience and teaches many of the younger members how to write code. Mentoring and recruiting more members are now crucial tenants of the Robotics Club under his leadership as President. "We could rush along everything by ourselves, but what's that going to do for the club when we're gone?" Levin explained.  

While he has many technical goals for the club, helping shape an organization that fosters the next group of its leaders is at the forefront of Levin's agenda. "I want this to be a club I can come back to...as an [alumnus] maybe comeback and sponsor or give advice and be able to help this club, because I love being here." he stated. Levin and his leadership team increased enrollment from around 15-20 people at this time last year, to 79 people. 

On the technical side, while the team is working towards a completely new robot for the NASA competition this year, Levin is already planning for next year when he hopes the Robotics Club will be able to build a competition robot with full autonomy. 

For the NASA competition, collegiate teams from around the country design excavating robots. This year, the competition requires the robots to collect sand and create a berm, or a mound of dirt, used to simulate marking off an area for space shuttle landing. Next year, Levin hopes the club will be able to program the robot so that those controlling the robot will be able to "just push a button" and have the robot scoop and place dirt all on its own. 

Levin's interest in engineering and computers started at a young age and he makes it clear that much of what he's working towards wouldn't have been possible without a lot of support.  

He first became interested in computers as a child, as his father worked in IT, and was always around spare computer parts and interested in how they worked. Shortly before he entered college, he saw what his cousin, an engineering major, was working on and realized that he could combine his interest in robotics and computers with engineering, leading him to land on the electrical engineering major. 

Once he started at Temple, Levin continued to feel supported in his career aspirations by his professors. Dr. Bai, Dr. Obeid, Dr. Helferty, and Mike Caiozzo are faculty and staff members that he credits with supporting him in his academic pursuits as well as providing opportunities for him to gain research and leadership experience, which were huge factors towards earning the Butz Scholarship. 

Levin is incredibly thankful for the Butz Scholarship and the impact it has on his academic and professional pursuits.