The Team

In Approximately Chronological Order

Team ETHOS is a close group of individuals who are passionate about achieving stellar performance from our catapult while having fun and educating the next generation of engineers. Many more have contributed then are listed below. To those, we offer thanks!

David Mollenhauer

Team Captain

David is a research engineer at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate where he specializes in development of a deeper understanding of composite materials. He became interested in Greek and Roman artillery in high school and has translated his interest and professional training into building “The Phoenix”. He is the main computer modeler for the team and has participated in the majority of fabrication efforts. David has also developed a network of very generous sponsorship for Team ETHOS.

John Camping

Mr. Technology

John is a retired senior technician for the University of Dayton Research Institute where he spent his career in mechanical testing of composite materials.  He is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of most of them!  John as been instrumental in most design ideas and decisions for the Phoenix and is the primary architect of the data acquisition system.  John conveniently is a  trained machinist and has contributed significantly to the project  

Jennifer Mollenhauer

Pumpkin Momma

Jennifer is a biologist who volunteers for local parks, specializing in urban nature programming. She brings her talent for organization to our team and has made “pumpkin statistics” her pet project. She is also a belly dancer/instructor & has raised belly dance $$$ for the team over the years (

Bryan Langley

Welding Genius

Bryan is a test/project engineer who has worked in an automotive testing environment, as well as performed research for the U.S. Air Force. He took a TIG welding class hosted by Lincoln Electric at EAA AirVenture, thus he was declared the team welder. Bryan is a major team contributor by assisting in logistics and has performed all of the welding for "The Phoenix" and support hardware. He enjoys fabricating components for “The Phoenix" and watching 400 mph flying pumpkins!

Chase Nessler

Comedy Relief & Tall Guy

Chase is a researcher for the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, specializing in turbine engine design and testing.  He has contributed significantly to the project through many hours of cutting, grinding, and drilling steel and composites.  Chase is missed when he is away due to his humor, beer, and height (for lifting things).

Merrie Mollenhauer

The Web Master

Merrie is a student who is interested in pursing human rights law.   Her ability with computers has helped with the design of this website.   She enjoys catapulting simply for the fun of it.

Nicole Langely & Krista Nessler

The Support Team

Nicolle and Krista both married into punkin chunkin (marrying their husbands after Team ETHOS was founded). They have been invaluable support as team members, cheerleaders, and in construction of “The Phoenix”. Now they are both moms to the next generation of Team ETHOS.

James Sands

Chairman Mao

James became aware of this amazing sport in the U.K. when Dave briefed our allies on how best to launch vegetables at enemies. He had to come and see for himself, arriving with entry fee of scotch, and had three “pumpkin pies” for dessert. James has been hooked since 2010. James’ side-kick and son, Matthias, joins us as an “enthusiastic” fan.

Barry Mullins

Dr. Evil

Barry is a Professor of Computer Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He focuses his talents on teaching and conducting research in cyber security and cyber operations. His efforts have kept the Phoenix free of viruses, worms, botnets, trojan horses and other nefarious items since 2011... with the notable exception of 2012.

John & Cheyanne Bultman

The Organized Ones

John worked in the Materials Lab, at Wright Patterson AFB, as a thin film laser deposition specialist, but has recently joined a University of Dayton Research Institute team investigating additive manufacturing. He joined the team with his daughter, Cheyanne, in 2013. Cheyanne said joining the team makes her “the happiest 16 year old on the face of the earth.” She is now off to college, but participates when she can.  They have been a driving force in building the second composite arm for “The Phoenix”.

Mark Flores


Mark is a foodie.  He gives us great recommendations for food.  He is helpful too!

Tom Ryan

Big Tom

Tom is big.  He lifts things that normal people struggle with.  He is smart too.  A great addition to the team!

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