On a cold, winter weekend, when I can't go snowboarding or skiing, what's the next best thing? An electronics project! This is a simple project using an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) and Verilog that causes LEDs to scroll back and forth like KITT from Knight Rider. I didn't get to hit the slopes, but I got to make a fun video to post on my YouTube channel!
I was honored to be asked by Harris Corporation and Purdue University to speak at their first EcoMake event. EcoMake is an engineering hackathon that is focused on sustainability. Pictured with me are the brilliant engineers from Harris who agreed to stay in West Lafayette during the hackathon and serve as mentors to the approximately 150 participants. Harris also supplied each team with a box full of components, including two of my favorite toys: Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Very cool!
It's IEEE Day!
"IEEE Day: Celebrating the first time in history when engineers worldwide and IEEE members gathered to share their technical ideas in 1884. The 2018 IEEE Day’s theme is: 'Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow'. While the world benefits from what’s new, IEEE focuses on what’s next."
Electrical engineers design for tomorrow; we make the world a better place. We develop prosthetics, satellites, green energy, robotics, and the device you're using to read this post.
IEEE allows us to share ideas and grow as professionals. I'm very proud to be an officer of Indiana Tech's IEEE, and a member of the global IEEE - "The world's largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology".
Celebrate IEEE Day by talking to a young person about STEM careers, especially electrical engineering!
Someone was looking for my IEEE page and found this unexpected listing instead. They sent it to me this morning after they found my email. Huge surprise! A national role model! How cool is that? I'm not sure I deserve the title, but I do hope I can help more kids go into STEM.
I have been invited into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, reserved for the top 10% of college juniors, seniors, and graduate students! I am so happy! Words escape me.
Several students from my university got to attend a tech conference in Illinois this weekend, and I am so glad I was among the lucky attendees! There is so much to learn at professional conferences, from the latest innovations to new uses for existing tech. I met several brilliant people including professionals, professors, and graduate students who are working on fascinating projects. Even the food choices were eye-opening! I'm actively searching for more opportunities that will allow me to network with - and learn from - more people in my industry, so I'm hoping to attend a lot more conferences in the future. I can't thank my university enough for their generosity! It was a fun, educational weekend!
Next week, my computer engineering internship with Raytheon will draw to a close, while my electrical engineering job with Ultra Electronics (USSI) will be picking up speed. I'll be working full time at Ultra before moving in to the dorms, then dropping to part-time after school begins. Plus, I've been running my own custom circuit design company. The three jobs have kept me busy this summer, and they've given me very broad experiences, from circuit design to embedded systems to programming for artificial neural networks, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming projects with Ultra. It's been an incredible summer; it went by so fast! And speaking of fast, two other companies already called me to talk about working for them next summer! Things move rather quickly and far in advance in the tech world, but I really love the pace!
R2-D2 and I have been busy lately! Yesterday R2 and I hosted one of Raytheon's Lunch and Learn events, and I’m thrilled to report that our Lunch and Learn had the highest attendance ever recorded at this branch! The crowd spilled into the connected room, and people kept coming in to talk to me several hours after the program was over. The questions from my brilliant coworkers were exactly what I expected: intelligent and technical. I love answering those types of questions because they allow me to discuss my work in detail.
Last week, we visited with the talented engineers, managers, and staff at Oji Intertech. It was a great group of serious Star Wars fans! We had a fun, lively discussion that I really enjoyed.
R2 and I also visited the place where it all began: the Indiana Institute of Technology Engineering Camp. I first became interested in electrical engineering when I attended that camp several years ago. Shortly thereafter, I designed and built R2-D2, and not long after that I landed an internship at NASA where I designed a mission-critical circuit board. I’m hoping that R2 and I will be able to help Indiana Tech’s Engineering Camp inspire the next generation to become electrical engineers. The world needs more EEs!
This was my first night helping to teach the students at Coder Dojo, and oh my goodness what a wonderful program! Coder Dojo differs from STARBASE in that the primary focus is software, with a sprinkling of firmware and hardware thrown in for good measure. It also allows the students to learn a bit more since the program extends through July. As teachers, we also have quite a bit of flexibility and can adjust the programming based on the skill levels of the students; since they're more advanced than we anticipated we can ramp up the lessons to challenge them. It's a fantastic method to teach coding and I am very proud to be part of it!
I was honored to have been invited to be a guest instructor at the STARBASE STEM Camp sponsored by the DoD, Harris Corp, BAE, Indiana Tech, and other organizations. Raytheon encourages its employees to be active in the community, so when I asked to take some time off to help teach at the camp, they enthusiastically agreed.
The students were inquisitive and polite, and they asked excellent questions. I was very impressed with them. We spoke about computer programming, circuit design, how to apply the skills they had learned so far to engineering projects, and the many career options available to them.