Who we are

We’re More Than Robots – we’re a global movement of educators and influencers determined to equip the next generation with the technical knowhow and life skills to transform our future.

Our story

In 2014, FIRST UK’s founder Vikrant attended an event which was to have a marked impact upon his perception of how young people engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) – and the potential of robotics to transform young lives.

That event was FIRST® Championships – a gathering of 60,000 young people competing in alliances with robots – applying STEM solutions to tackle real-world challenges.

Captivated by the infectious enthusiasm and technical brilliance of these young innovators, and with three children of his own, Vikrant became determined to bring the FIRST ethos to the UK – translating the benefits of mentor-based robotics learning and making it accessible to all.

Help us be More Than Robots

“We need to empower young people today to take on the challenges of tomorrow – to prepare them for jobs which haven’t been invented yet.”

Vikrant, FIRST UK

Bobby

Bobby

The future
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Meet Bobby. Bobby occupies diverse roles in the team dependent upon our mood, weather, political climate and other environmental factors. Some days Bobby’s the inspiration for all things creative, others Bobby’s there cracking the motivational whip. Bobby is based in the office notionally, but works remotely most days, avoiding the commute and making the most of technology and connectivity. Bobby reminds us daily why together we’re More Than Robots.

Amy

Amy

The Optimist
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Amy is FIRST® UK’s match-maker. As Programme Manager (Partnerships) she’s focused on finding the right friends to collaborate with in order to amplify impact on the young people we serve. Amy works with corporate partners to maximise effective employee engagement whether that’s regular mentoring, ad hoc volunteering opportunities through to leadership and team building days. Prior to FIRST® UK, she used her relationship-building and analysis skills to execute events at firms in Vancouver and Toronto. With a shift in focus, she’s now working to identify opportunities for leveraging income, people, and resources to achieve our mission sooner. Since it’s always easier to make friends with food, Amy’s experience as a trained pastry chef will be a critical on the job asset.

Ed

Ed

The Disruptor
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Ed’s ideas (not always good ones), agility and boundless energy drive the charity forward at pace. Frustrated by standing still he is constantly asking ‘will it make the boat go faster’ – no one really understands why (rumour suggests it’s a book he got one Christmas and hasn’t actually read but cites when out of ideas). Ed describes the mission as ‘making the charity go out of business’ – a world where every young person is equipped with the technical knowledge and life skills to own their futures. In the meantime he’s focused on defining the pathway to impact and securing the sustainable investment and critical friendships to get there fast. Previously Ed led innovation at Cancer Research UK devising award-winning fundraising products, disrupting funding models and driving strategic growth. He also spent several years globe-trotting whilst helping build an adventure tour operator into a sector-leading SME. His passions include his partner Katherine, their two young boys Zeb and Oz, travel, and anything to do with the water, outdoors or food.

Martin

Martin

The Ambassador
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Martin is our man on the ground. As regional Development Lead he focuses on developing relationships with schools, industry and local partners to execute the vision of FIRST® UK in the communities we serve. An engineer by trade with over 24 years’ experience teaching at all levels, Martin is key to developing our mentor and volunteer pipeline. With a BEd(Hons) in Secondary Education from Manchester Metropolitan University, specialising in Design and Technology, Martin served as Head of Faculty for Science and Technology – invaluable knowledge of the classroom which he now deploys to refine FIRST® UK’s educational offering through developing curriculum aligned resources and accreditation for teachers.

Michael

Michael

The Advocate
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Michael as our Programme Manager (Schools) spends his days at FIRST® UK, ensuring our schools and teams have the best journey possible. Before joining the team, he worked at the University of Sheffield, coordinating science programs for schools and young people. An advocate for engaging tomorrow’s leaders, he’s worked with schools, universities, and international science museums. Despite already having a BA in Knowledge Integration, he’s currently completing an MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement at the University of Edinburgh. With a penchant for experimentation, you’ll likely find him in the thick of things at any FIRST® UK event, sharing his enthusiasm for STEM.

Muktar

Muktar

The Product Guy
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As Chief Operating Officer, Muktar is living out his dream job at FIRST® UK. A teacher and former Director of Robotics at the American School in London, he’s responsible for our day-to-day operations. With a decade of experience engaging young people with STEM, his secondary role could be dubbed ‘robot guru’. As a young student, he was offered the opportunity to participate in FIRST® programmes – an experience which he cites as the driving force behind his decision to study Architectural Technology at Westminster University. Muktar has mentored hundreds of young people over the years and is now translating his experience into inspiring the next generation of science and technology leaders.

Patrice

Patrice

The Storyteller
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Patrice owns all things comms, brand, and marketing (what you’d hope from the Comms and Marketing Manager) at FIRST® UK. Operating across all channels and events, she builds a narrative that resonates with our audience, making sure that everyone feels a part of the experience. A Graphic and Media Designer from University of the Arts London, Patrice honed her craft delivering consumer marketing campaigns and games with digital and creative agencies. While the head of comms programmes at Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Open Data Institute, she developed influencer strategies for public sector agencies. When she’s not working, you can find her binge-watching documentaries, dad dancing, or presenting to young people about opportunities in STEM and Tech Comms.

Shannon

Shannon

The People Person
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In her capacity as Programme Manager (People) Shannon drives the mentor and volunteer pipeline and customer journey – in addition to overseeing programmatic delivery of FIRST® Tech Challenge. Before joining the charity, Shannon coordinated career development programmes in a USA university, and acted as Assistant Director of a volunteer programme for young people. With an MSc in Latin American Development from King’s College London, and BA in Communication from Cabrini University she’s obviously looking forward to when we establish our Rio de Janeiro outpost.

Vikrant

Vikrant

The Founder
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Vikrant’s passion for STEM trace back to his time as an undergraduate studying engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. The technical knowledge, relationships and life-skills he developed at the IIT served him well as a young entrepreneur in the dot com boom of early 2000’s. Recognising the impact technology and a technical education had on his own journey, he’s now determined to ensure every young person can unlock opportunities through STEM – and he’s established FIRST® UK to do just that.

  • We build More Than Robots

    We invest in the young people who will invent the future. We’re a tech charity using robots, role models and competitions to equip young people with the technical know-how and soft skills to thrive.