Each of the four university teams will be judged by industry leaders across areas such as engineering and philanthropy. Learn how each judge offers a diverse perspective. content for this section.
Electrical Engineer, Roboticist and Television Host
For almost a decade, Grant Imahara was one of the hosts of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters. Using a blend of science and fun, he put urban legends to the test, sometimes with explosive results. Since joining the team in January 2005, Grant tested hundreds of myths, and in the process swam with sharks, hung from the skids of a helicopter, fired cheese out of a cannon into the San Francisco Bay, allowed 25 tarantulas to crawl on his head, dropped a BMW from an aircraft, sliced a car in half using a rocket sled, destroyed so many cars he’s stopped counting, and built many, many robots, all in the name of science.
Before joining Mythbusters, Grant spent nine years working in special effects as an animatronics engineer and modelmaker for George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic. He worked on numerous blockbusters including the Matrix sequels, A.I., Galaxy Quest, Terminator 3, Van Helsing, and Star Wars: Episodes 1-3. He put the lights in R2-D2’s dome and gave the Energizer Bunny his beat. He created the often rude and irreverent robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Grant has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has been on the cover of ROBOT Magazine, IEEE Spectrum, and MAKE Magazine. Over the years, he has garnered numerous official commendations from various organizations, including the City of Los Angeles, the City of San Francisco, and The White House.
Grant was most recently featured as host of the Netflix original series, White Rabbit Project.
Patricia E. Bacuros
Director, Philanthropic Investment
Pat Bacuros is an experienced and recognized leader in development and execution of approaches and programs that are aiming to support the advancement and strengthening of health systems, complement health education activities, as well as support disaster/emergency response efforts. For over 24 years, Pat has been enabling programs around the world to maximize impact and reach out to those most in need by building strategic partnerships for efficient and targeted Gift-In-Kind development.
Pat joined Direct Relief in July 2014 as the Director, Philanthropic Investment. Direct Relief is an organization that provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people throughout the world, including the U.S. Her areas of responsibility include relationship building with healthcare companies to support programs with in-kind donations focusing on maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment, health systems strengthening, and emergency response. She leads the staff functions in the Philanthropic Investment Department.
Pat spent several years traveling to Central Asia, Asia, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe working with staff in the placement of gift-in-kind deliveries to medical facilities while relationship building with healthcare company in-country representatives.
Pat also serves on the board of PQMD (Partnership for Quality Medical Donations), a global alliance leading the development and championing of high standards in medical supply and service donations. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education and holds a teaching license in the state of Virginia. She also studied emergency management and disaster response at American Public University.
Industrial Adhesives & Tapes 3M
Shirin began her career at 3M in the Commercial Office Supply Division lab in 1986. Since then, she has held a variety of positions in the laboratory as well as business management in multiple divisions. Most recently, she served as the Technical Director for the Construction & Home Improvement Markets Division. Shirin is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (1st Wave) and has worked for the Medical Surgical Division, Commercial Graphics Division and Aerospace & Aircraft Maintenance Division. Shirin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Masters of Science degree in Materials Science from the University of Virginia.