This week, #ERAUColton takes us to the wind tunnel, a photo shoot with the Prescott mayor, adventures in the Prescott snow, and gives us a sneak peek at his AE capstone project!
Want to know what life is like on campus and in Prescott from a student’s perspective? Join Aeronautical Engineering (AE) student Colton Campbell every Tuesday as he takes us through his spring semester! You can also follow his adventures at #ERAUColton
“Hardware eventually breaks. Software eventually works.”
Many analogies can be drawn from the above quote, but I would like to describe what it means to me. I have spent seven out of the last thirteen years trying to improve my software before the hardware broke. A blue-collar worker sells his physical body a little at a time, while a white-collar engineer sells his knowledge. Having knowledge and experience in both fields now, I have a new respect for engineers and a new drive for my future. I have learned that engineering is much more about how you think than anything learned in the classroom.
As of the beginning of this internship at Garmin, it was my objective to understand the certification process, and the internal processes and programs used at Garmin AT. While the process to certify a product for aviation use is rather simple, the act of gaining the data to support certification claims is a complex process that necessitates a department of 40+ engineers to gain and maintain certification. This is an internal process up to the point of FAA demonstration that requires many tools to remain organized. To track the revision of documents, I had to learn and utilize StarTeam, then do the same with Requiem, as Garmin changed programs during my stay. Issues found during testing were logged in Aviation JIRA, a network-based program that allows for categorization, assignment, and tracking of workflow. In an effort to share the tribal knowledge among its employees, Garmin uses a wiki page, Confluence. Meetings occur on a regular basis to discuss, categorize, and assign tasks, at both high and low levels.
The culture and community is unlike any company I’ve worked for. It is very apparent that Garmin values its employees for much more than just their productivity. Office life is very lax, but also considerate and respectful. There is little daily oversight or feedback, but rather a quiet expectation to accomplish tasks efficiently and in harmony with those you work with for a given project. Although I was an hourly employee, my schedule was up to me. I was not expected to work any number of hours, as long as my work was completed on time. I did have bi-weekly meetings with my mentor to monitor progress and ensure that I was getting the most of my internship.
Beyond the technical knowledge and skills I gained at Garmin, I also learned many things about myself and my place in the engineering workplace. As an aircraft mechanic, I was not very involved in avionics and I never became a pilot. I felt so very out of place working at an avionics giant. Although we all love airplanes, we speak in different terms. From this I’ve learned that specialization is key. We also speak at much different volumes. I am loud, in more ways than one and I know this. From this I’ve learned that if you’re going to be loud, try to do so outside of the visual and audible spectrum, or at least make it of pleasant tone and color. It was a very valuable experience for me and I have a direction for my future.
I’m Trupti Mahendrakar from Bangalore, India. Exploring and innovating is my passion. I joined Riddle in Fall 2015. Since then till now, I was encouraged and motivated to do what I like. Professor’s here are so helpful. The entire institution makes me feel at home. My first semester here, I came up with an idea of making Graphene based composites. Later, I got to know that the University encourages and funds student researches through Ignite or Undergraduate Research Institute (URI). All I had to do was to find a Professor who can help me with my project and find a group of people who are interested. Thus, I started Alternate Composite Team (ACT).
Here’s a little information about Graphene. It is a new material discovered in 2004. It is known for its extraordinary chemical and physical properties. Also, it is an allotrope of carbon. Embry-Riddle made is possible for me to work on this amazing material and pursue my goal in making graphene based composites for aircrafts and rockets. To know more about my project, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Here are some pictures of me and my team working. It may not look fun but remember “Appearance can be deceptive.” So come on over and try it yourself.
This is the tale of my Sophomore year; surviving the gauntlet, working off-campus, and… getting married! In this vlog, I (Colton Campbell) take you through the lessons I learned my sophomore year and share some of the footage I captured during Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016. Enjoy, and as always feel free to leave comments and suggestions!
And here is a few pics of my beautiful bride, Madeline (: We don’t have the photographer’s photos yet but Maddie’s sister snapped these during the wedding.
Stay tuned this summer for more video blogs! If you’d also like to see more photo blogs, let me know in the comments below!
by student and guest blogger Mariah Sampson
This semester I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in the AVNET tech games hosted at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, AZ. Early this semester, Dr. Gentilini asked the students in the Robotics Lab if we were interested in competing in the Tech Games. Six students, two teams, volunteered. I volunteered because it sounded like a great opportunity and a hands-on way to implement multiple concepts learned in the Robotics Lab at once. The event required each team to build and program a robot to complete two challenges using the Lego Mindstorm kit along with the EV3 software.
The first challenge was to successfully follow a line that became progressively more difficult to follow. The second challenge was to solve a virtual maze by following colored blocks and completing the three optional challenge tasks within the maze. Unfortunately, neither team was successful in placing. However, we did learn some valuable lessons. It is important to have a contingency plan and have multiple programs to run in case one does not work. Another lesson learned was the environment may change drastically, so it is important to try and create as controlled of an environment as possible when utilizing sensors in case factors, such as a change in lighting, may affect the function of different sensors.
I enjoyed participating in the competition and working with some of the people that I may be partnered with in my Preliminary Design group next semester. It was also a great opportunity to spend time with Dr. Gentilini and Jim Weber, the faculty members that are crucial in enabling us to be able to participate in events such as the AVNET Tech Games in addition to completing the standard course work.
Dr. Gentilini and I were even featured in a promo video. Check it out here!
Classes are finished on April 29th and as it stands we are a month away from Summer break!!! We are all really excited to be finishing up this semester but, I wanted to give y’all a brief update on what I’ve been doing this past few months.
The major project I’ve been working on this semester is the Detail Design of the aircraft that my team conceptualized last semester. The detail work began with building a 1/48 scale model of the full size aircraft and testing it in the closed circuit wind tunnel in the Tracy Dorlyand Wind Tunnel Lab. Testing was not only super fun but, informative too. We tested parametric variations of the model to determine the maximum and minimum aerodynamic loads it would receive. Our test results came out just as we had expected and we are happily feeding them back into the design right now to see what improvements to the original design we can make.
Once we finish that we will be working on our final presentation which will take place on April 29! If you are visiting the University on that day make sure to have a look at all the interesting Senior Capstone Presentations. If you are looking into engineering you may be working on a similar project in the future 🙂
Other than that I have just been doing regular school work, AFROTC, Space Grant Research, and volunteering. It has been a fun, crazy, and somewhat relaxed semester all at the same time. If you have any questions about what the average day in the life of a senior at ERAU is like feel free to ask! Thanks for reading everyone!
Sedona, one of the most iconic cities in Arizona, lies just 1.5 hours north of Prescott. With it’s towering red rock formations, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and bustling village Sedona is the perfect weekend getaway or day trip for Embry Riddle students. Check out the video below as Colton show’s off some of Sedona’s beauty!
Hi I’m Lauren and I’m a student at Embry-Riddle in Engineering. For 100 days I am traveling around the world in a study abroad program called Semester at Sea. I will be posting blogs, reflections and photos of my journey in this Embry-Riddle blog site. I hope you follow me on my journey! Check out my photos!
January 13, 2016
Location: 21 degrees 18 minutes N (Latitude), 157 degrees 51 minutes W (Longitude)
Port 1: Honolulu
Yesterday, was our first port. We docked in Honolulu, Hawaii early in the morning. My friends and I woke up to watch us dock but we were already docked!
Before we were allowed off the ship, everyone had to clear U.S. customs. The process only took two hours and then I was finally able to get off the ship! I had never been so excited for land. It was surreal to not be rocking for the first time after 7 days at sea! However, I am not looking forward to our 10 day crossing to Japan.
Once I was off the ship, I was whisked away to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. Before boarding the Navy boat to the memorial, we watched a short film about the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
It was hard to imagine that where I was standing 75 years ago was once a Navy base. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The Japanese damaged all eight Navy battleships, three cruisers, and three destroyers. 2,403 men lost their lives and 1,178 others were wounded. This attack would led to the United States to enter WWII. The USS Arizona Memorial marks the resting place of the 1,102 sailors and Marines who were killed during the Japanese surprise attack.
I loved wandering through the museum and the memorial, but I was so moved by random strangers’ kindness towards a WWII veteran who was in our group. When he got off the boat first, he was escorted by two Navy sailors and everyone was clapping for him. Later, I noticed he was standing in front of the wall that the fallen sailors’ names were engraved in and he was kneeling and praying. People would come up to him, shake his hand and thank him for his service. I was so touched by
people’s appreciation for his courage to defend and protect us. I was so emotional that I had silent tears falling down my cheeks. I am forever grateful for all the men and women who have served our country and died protecting our freedom. God bless our military!
After the Memorial, my friends and I decided that we need to eat some “real food”. I really wanted good Italian food but I settled for an all American hot dog with chips and soda. But, most importantly I had ice cream! I savored every bit of it but I was so sad when I dropped some of it on the grass. The hot Hawaiian sun was melting it!
Afterwards we boarded the bus again and drove off to tour the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl Crater then went downtown Honolulu. Downtown we went to ʻIolani Palace which was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Palace had beautiful renaissance architecture. I could definitely live in ʻIolani Palace! Did you know that it had electricity and telephones even before the White House.
Across the street is Hawaii 5-0’s headquarters. The building used in the TV show is actually Aliʻiōlani Hale, home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court. I got my picture taken with Kamehameha the Great, the famed gold leaf statue. Now I have pictures in front of both statutes! The original stands near the legendary king’s birthplace in Kapaʻau in Kohala, on the island of Hawaii.
Since we still had an hour and a half until we needed to be back on the ship, our bus driver took us to Wikki and Diamond Head. I desperately wanted to get off the bus and go play in the crystal clear blue waters of Wikki Beach but we just drove on by.
I ended my brief Hawaiian adventure shopping at Walmart for everything that I forgot to bring. Although my mom accused me of being a Princess for needing a memory foam pillow, I bought it and slept soundly last night while I was cocooned in my new, soft gigantic blanket too.
I had a fantastic time in Hawaii. I wish I had more time in port but I will just have to come back another day!
Check out my photos!