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VRC Nationals 2022 - Judging Panel

Meet our esteemed Judges joining us this year at the Nationals!

Image of judge Parie

Parie Malhotra

DevOps Engineer

The Warehouse Group

Parie is a Kiwibots alumna, having competed in the VEX Robotics programme since 2013. She also represented New Zealand at the VEX Robotics World Championship.

After completing her Bachelor of Engineering degree specialising in Computer Systems Engineering, she joined the team at FlexWare Ltd as a Project Engineer. Here, she gets to put her newly minted degree to use, working on a variety of projects in the embedded systems field.

Recently, Parie has moved into a DevOps Engineering role with The Warehouse Group.

When she isn’t working, she puts her energy into dancing or getting involved in the community doing science communication and outreach as part of the Nanogirl Labs team.

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Jason Collingwood

Mechatronics Engineer


Jason is a Mechatronics Engineer working as a Junior Project Manager at Siemens, one of the world’s largest engineering companies. 

Jason has been involved with Kiwibots since 2010 as a competitor representing New Zealand at the World Championships 3 times and was part of the team that brought home the 2015 World Excellence Award. Since graduating school, he has been volunteering in the program assisting with Tournament Manager and Judging in the past. 

Kiwibots sparked Jason’s interest in STEM at an early age which led him to become an engineer and to take up STEM hobbies outside of work.

Young Ly

CEO - Serato

Young Ly is the CEO of Serato, one of the world’s leading music technology companies. Serato is used by 2 million people, including A-listers such as Will Smith, Drake, Disclosure and Snoop.  Young grew up with a passion for computer games, which lead him into the computer science field where he’s run development teams at Roboforge, TVNZ, Air New Zealand, and now Serato.

FLTL Emma Raven

Lead - Operation Tangata Kanorou

The Royal NZ Air Force

Flight Lieutenant Emma Raven joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) in 2011 as an Air Warfare Officer and served on No. 40 Squadron flying the C-130 Hercules for several years, operating around New Zealand and the world. Following a posting to Joint Forces New Zealand as the air tasking planner for RNZAF fixed wing aircraft, she moved into the Headquarters at RNZAF Base Auckland and followed her passion for working with people.


In 2021, she took the lead of the well-known School to Skies programme, which over the years has expanded from camps to encourage young women into STEM careers, to on the road engagements around the country, events and engagement directly with New Zealand educators. Her passion for teaching and role modelling real-life STEM pathways is evident and she relishes in the opportunity to guide young people to their passions. She is also a strong believer in taking a trade pathway straight from school and has had a successful and varied career spanning 10 years so far as evidence of that.


Guiomar Fernandez

Product Marketing Manager - SMC

As student I enjoyed reading books and watching shows about extreme engineering and megastructures built by our ancestors. This lead me into mechanical engineering where I specialise in design structures. As a graduated engineer I completed two overseas internships in Finland and Germany that enable me to gain international experience and get a great blend of technical, project and business understanding in other fields of engineering. 

My pathway into automation and robotics started with SMC in the UK. Since joining the SMC team in 2000, I have worked as product specialist for valves, sensors and most lately electric actuators and fieldbuses. After completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Business in 2020 I have taken on more project leadership roles within SMC with multidisciplinary and international teams which require a new set of skills and stay motivated in the day-to-day work commitments.

I am honored to join the panel of VEX VRC judges, share my passion on engineering, design process, and building. This year the robots include an additional source of energy: compressed air pumped from a bike pump. This is novel and sustainable way to actuate the air cylinders. SMC is proud to sponsor these pneumatics kits to our Kiwi competitors in hope this helps demystify one important part of the automation technology. 

I hope this event encourages Kiwi kids (especially young women) to start their carrier in the field of engineering and unlock the value in STEM.


Daniel Xu

CEO - Spark 64

Daniel Xu is the CEO of Spark 64, an artificial intelligence (AI) agency helping organisations leverage AI to do things faster, cheaper and smarter.


He has a PhD in Engineering and builds electric skateboards for fun. He is an advisor to a number of organizations, startup mentor and chairs the Return on Science, Physical Sciences Investment Committee.

Daniel Jiminez

Technical Project Manager - Spark 64

Daniel is a Technical Project Manager at Spark 64, where he is responsible for the delivery of state of the art Artificial Intelligence algorithms to some of New Zealand’s largest enterprises.


Adam Collie


McIntosh Engineering

Adam is a Palmerston North local, who studied Mechatronics Engineering at Massey University.  

Currently he works at McIntosh Engineering designing new farm machinery and crane hardware.  

Previously Adam has been a mechanical consultant, working on heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, construction machines), and doing projects for the NZTA and Horizons Regional Council.  

Adam has been involved with VEX for over 10 years; competing in high school and university, as well as mentoring teams and refereeing competitions. 

He is also on the Central Region Robotics Trust to help drive interest in STEM to students in the region.

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