My passion for controlling mechanical systems can be pinpointed to when I exposed to a Legos Mindstrom kit back in middle school. Since then I have had a diverse undergraduate career where I tried to pursue many different field but I’ve found the field of control systems to be the most interesting. The Given my undergraduate and work experience I believe that graduate school will be the next logical step on the path to become an engineering leader in this field.
I started college at UC Santa Cruz where I earned a degree in business management economics then I transferred to UC Berkeley to complete a mechanical engineering degree. Since I transferred into Berkeley I had to take a much heavier course load then the average engineering student, I did so while maintaining a 3.5+ GPA. At Berkeley I gained a wealth of theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience through lab and project classes. I took a total of 4 semester long project based ...view middle of the document...
Here I created a control system for the air flow rate in a climate control chamber, and programmed and tuned DC brushless motors in linear actuators. Later, I helped design programmable linear actuator systems with multiple sensors, human machine interfaces, and stringent safety requirements. In addition to control systems, the projects I worked on exposed me to microcontroller programming and serial communication. Through my senior project and internship I was able to apply theoretical knowledge I gained in college, absorb new knowledge, and also develop skills required to work effectively in a team. But the most important thing I learned was being responsible for my work, I was no longer working on problems that someone else already knew the answer to, whatever solution I came up with I had to convince other colleagues that it was the right solution.
So far much of the practical work I have done has been with linear systems controlled by relatively simple control systems. I want to delve into more complicated aspects of controlling mechanical systems such as advance system modeling and also nonlinear, optimal, and adaptive control. I plan to pursue a thesis based MSME so I can learn that theory and apply it to research and applications that are not possible at my current job. Virginia Tech has the facilities and faculties needed for me to learn relevant theoretical knowledge and then apply that knowledge to research. I have a deep interest in the automotive field and I am excited by the research opportunities Virginia Tech has in this field. I’m most interested in the applied autonomy research group in the mechatronics lab. Research in this field has the potential to affect the lives of millions of people while also presenting interesting technical challenges. I am excited that Virginia Tech allows MS students to become GRA’s and GTA’s, if admitted I will pursue these opportunities to their fullest extent. Right now I am leaning towards obtaining a Master of Science degree as I hope to obtain a job in the automotive, aerospace, or robotics field working on innovative applications for control systems. If I find researching to be particularly engaging I may pursue a PhD.