Posted by Veronica at 2/7/2001 10:51 PM EST
Student on team #27, Team Rush, from Osmtech and Textron.
ok engineers i need a little help. i was wondering if some of you could give me a small job discription of what you do. I am interested especially in know what exactly mechanical and electrical engineers do. I would appreciate any help you could offer. Engineering is such a broad topic just looking for a breakdown, so i can figure out what it is all about. thanks
Posted by Chris Hibner at 2/9/2001 12:28 PM EST
Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.
In Reply to: engineers here’s your time to shine
Posted by Veronica on 2/7/2001 10:51 PM EST:
: ok engineers i need a little help. i was wondering if some of you could give me a small job discription of what you do. I am interested especially in know what exactly mechanical and electrical engineers do. I would appreciate any help you could offer. Engineering is such a broad topic just looking for a breakdown, so i can figure out what it is all about. thanks
My degree is in mechanical engineering (concentrating in dynamic systems and control). I work at TRW Automotive Electronics in Farmington Hills, MI. Since I concentrate in dynamic systems and control, I don’t do what most people consider “traditional” mechanical design. I don’t work with CAD; instead, I work mainly with MATLAB (+ Simulink) and Mathematica (and sometimes C or C++). Anyway, here is what I do in my job:
Make mathematical models of mechanical systems and multi-energy domain systems.
Write software. I typically write computer simulation packages for the models I create so that the system can be simulated with various inputs. For example, I made a model of a mechanical crash sensor and created a simulation package so that the behavior of the sensor could be simulated with actual recorded crash acceleration data. The sensor could be simulated over all manufacturing and lifetime tolerances so that a best and worst case scenario could be determined. The tolerances can be entered by the user and the software automatically runs all of the possible combinations and summarizes the results in a number of nice formats. I’ve also done a number of data aquisition and visualization tools, as well as a bunch of file utilities.
Design control and signal processing algorithms. I helped develop a multi-axis crash sensing algorithm, a pressure array occupant sensing algorithm, and a load-cell occupant sensing algorithm. I’ve also developed a number of algorithm enhancements. This part of the job can be very rewarding but it can but extremely stressful and thankless at times.
Algorithm application. Each algorithm needs to be tuned and tweaked to work with a particular vehicle platform. I spend about 50% of my time “calibrating” algorithms for specific vehicle platforms.
Data aquisition. For occupant sensing, a lot of data needs to be collected to test, verify, and calibrate the algorithms. This means that I need to do a lot of tests with dummys and live subjects to aquire the necessary data.
Anyway, that is typically what I do here. If you have any questions or would like to know more detail, you should be able to track me down at the G.R. or Ypsi regional or at the nationals.