Diary of a Trainee Electronic Engineer: December 2017Follow article
From Graduating my HND to starting University
It’s now been quite a while since I posted, and Experimenting with Electrocardiogram Electronics was published earlier this year in the summer. Since finishing my HND I decided to really focus on my top-up year at university in order to get my degree – and that’s where I am now.
I completed the HND around the beginning of June and what a relief this was. All I had to do was eagerly wait for my results, to find out if I’d done well enough to get a place at university. Thankfully, I had! I ended up graduating in September with a Distinction in my HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bradford College. Graduation was a fantastic day and I got to see some of my HND tutors, as well as classmates, and while the stress and struggles did get on top at times, I can now say that it was 100% worth all the hard work!
Degree final year
In September I began my top-up degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of Huddersfield. At first, I really didn’t know what to expect other than that the gap between HND and BEng would be substantial — an out of the frying pan and into the fryer kind of thing. My instincts were right and being a direct entrant into final year definitely has its challenges; I thought my HND was tough at times, but it really doesn’t compare to this year!
I had quite a dilemma initially and I needed to choose whether to do my top-up year in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, or just focus on Electronic Engineering. Since I completed my HND in EEE and my interests lay in electronics, I decided I wanted to look further in depth at electronic engineering.
Since starting my degree I’ve taken on five new modules
- Final Year project
- Project Quality and Production Management
- Analogue System Integration
- Digital System Integration
- Parallel Computer Architecture Clusters and Grids
Some modules have pleasantly surprised me; at the beginning of the year I didn’t expect to enjoy Project Quality and Production Management, but now I really enjoy it and it’s one of my favourite modules. In this, there are two sides: Production Management and then Quality. In the Production Management side, we work in groups to get a theoretical company out of debt by making a series of decisions, such as buying machines and hiring people to increase the number of sales.
In the Quality side, we look at projects and how they need to be completed, by examining what needs to be done in order of priority and then analysing which paths are critical, depending on the amount of time needed to complete these. This module is all about problem solving and balancing cost with time and quality, by doing something as efficiently as possible without compromising on any of the other factors.
Another module which I’m really enjoying is my Final Year Project. Here the project which I have been allocated is to look at Energy Monitoring and Usage Management in Machine Tools. The aim of this project is to look at the energy consumed by a CNC machine at the various different processes. I will also analyse the difference in the energy consumed at each process when using different materials.
I aim to analyse the data and determine how to achieve the same standard of process by altering the settings of the machine in order to conserve energy, thereby differentiating between speed and power settings to analyse how these elements can be used in order to reduce the energy consumption, therefore also reducing the carbon footprint.
This year has been very exciting — I’ve finished my HND and started my Degree, as well as learning so much along the way! Here’s a look back at some of the projects I did earlier in the year:
- Arduino Stepper Motor Control
- An Arduino Controlled Spooling Machine
- Discovering the Digilent Analog Discovery 2
- Testing Op-amp Circuits With The Analog Discovery 2
- Design Calculations and Testing of Basic Filters
- Learning LoRaWAN Basics
- Experimenting with Electrocardiogram Electronics
With lots of exciting things in 2017, I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings! – until then a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all!