It’s been a while since I’ve written here. Last time I was talking about my senior project, which was a success. The autonomous driving algorithm was a bit tricky to work out, but I don’t mind a challenge. It drew quite a bit of attention when I was testing it in Police car mode, where it drive at full speed for about 10ft with lights and sirens on, then makes a hard turn to one side and does a donut. Since the project was started by one of Purdue’s professors, and they picked up the tab for it, they kept the project and are using it for recruiting during tours of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. That just about wraps up my time at Purdue, the did let me graduate, and I celebrated with a few friends right afterwards with a fountain run. Yes, that’s right, I ran through the Engineering Fountain in cap and gown. We finished up the night with the traditional trip to Steak ‘n Shake.

Since then, I’ve been working in controls engineering. The job entails everything from design, to installation and service. I’ve got to select parts, be it motors, sensors, fuses, relays that are appropriate for the task at hand. Then draw up the schematics to integrate them into the machine. Next, I write the program that runs the machine, making the right motions happen at the right time to build a particular part. That all happens at our shop. Then, once the customer approves the machine’s function, I’ll travel with it to their site and set it up again on their floor. This often includes some electrical wiring, and adjusting the program to their specifications after they get used to running the machine for a while.

The travel has been quite fun. There are some days were I’ll be asked at 1 in the afternoon, “Can you be in Buffalo at 7 tomorrow morning?” I don’t mind this one bit. I’m often going to work on a machine that I haven’t seen before, so before I can fix it, I first have to figure out exactly what it should be doing and why it’s not. I’ve traveled from Maryland to Texas, Canada to South Carolina spending 36 nights on the road last year. This has worked quite well for photography that I’ve gotten into recently.

A roommate that I had in college was the photo editor for Purdue’s newspaper, which is where I got my interest in photography. Since I’ve been working, I’ve been able to afford more expensive toys. I got myself a new car not too long after starting work, and picked up a digital SLR about 6 months ago. I’ve had a great time photographing things such as high school football games, marching bands, the Chicago Auto Show, and family and friends during the holidays. One of my favorites was Niagara falls, just a few weeks after I got my camera. It was essentially a free trip for me, since I was in Buffalo for work. It took some trial and error, but I managed to get some excellent photos of it. Since then I’ve learned a lot about photography. You can see all of my photos in the Photos section of this site.

Niagara Falls

Posted on February 23, 2008 at 10:58 pm by Matt Walsh ยท Permalink
In: Blog

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  1. Written by Mom
    on November 22, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Love the new design.

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