Bat Sonar For Robots
During my final year at OSU I was a part of a team that sought to prototype a low cost sonar sensing system using biomimicry of bats. The project was under the direction of Dr. Cindy Grimm and based on designs done by Rolf Mueller’s Biosonar Sensing lab at Virginia Tech. Essentially, the robot needed to be able to send high intensity sonar chirps that it could then receive and process through a series of neural nets to locate and size an object in two-dimensional space. I developed the sonar pulse sending capabilities and the MatLab code that processed the received audio data and identified, created, and organized features to associate with known targets. Unfortunately, the project proved unsuccessful due to hardware constraints in the receiving microcontrollers; we couldn’t find any that were fast enough and within the budget. However, the lessons learned from the project will help future teams solve the problem of making such a system.
Engineering Out Loud
In 2017, I was hired on by Oregon State’s College of Engineering marketing faculty to fill the newly created position of Sound Production Assistant for their “Engineering Out Loud” podcast. I was involved in every step of the podcast creation from sitting in on the interviews recording audio to making the final revisions right before each episode’s release. In my time in this role I edited and helped produce eighteen episodes (seasons four through six) and introduced a standardized procedure for editing episodes in Adobe Audition to be followed by faculty and future students.
Engineers Without Borders
Throughout my time at OSU I took part in the local chapter of Engineers Without Borders. The work I was involved with in with the Cambodia Program was incredibly important in shaping how I think about engineering and design. I was a part of an initial water assessment team to the community of O’Rana, Cambodia, where we looked at the viability of different water distribution projects and took a number of surveys with community members. I also served as the Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Lead for the project. In this role, I was in charge of evaluating current and future project activities for engineering viability and cultural sustainability.
The community had a number of existing wells that had been drilled by Red Cross groups in the past, but all of them were in an unusable state because they had not been implemented in a way that could be sustained by the community. The mission of EWB is to provide solutions that don’t fall into a state of disrepair and the only real way to do that is by involving the community heavily in the process. This methodology really shaped the way that I think about design and engineering for purpose. My team and I talk more about our projects in this podcast we took part in for Engineering Out Loud’s seventh season, which revolved around clean water.