Category Archives: Engineering

Science!

When I’m not out adventuring, I am engineering projects for Square One. I help design and test positioning systems for cryo vac or “space” conditions.

Our project is building a ‘robot’ that can move a sample from point “a” to point “b” not only at room temperature, but also in extreme cryo conditions, -333 degrees without oxygen. The complicated part is that materials change with temperature. Material properties such as brittleness and size change; each material of the robot changes size at  different rates. Figuring out the tolerances so the system can run smoothly at both room and ‘space’ temperatures is the hard part. Only a thousandths of an inch is the difference between a working system and one that fails with the bushings clamping onto rails.

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We went to Tennessee to test our positioning system in one of the Space Institute’s chambers. It was great to see our work actually performing in the intended environment!

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Pulling the positioning system out of the chamber!

Bolt Bin!

Mostly, I design robotics components at work, but sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves and fix the thing that is bothering you. For me that was the lack of organization in our bolts and hardware. Therefore, I built a rolling bolt bin and organized the contents. If anyone messes it up now, they will have to settle with me!

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Engineering in Jackson

The big question during senior year of college was, “What are you doing after graduation? Are you going to Boston and working for an engineering firm? New York? Wait, you don’t know what you are doing next year? Are you applying? Planning?”

I didn’t have a job lined up, and I wasn’t worried in the slightest. I was too busy building and designing things while I still had access to a 3D printer, and all the incredible resources at school.

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My Coworkers and I out biking

The result? When I found out about an opportunity for a really cool job in a really cool place, I had to exclude things from my design portfolio to make it reasonably short. I am saying this with the off chance that it might convince someone reading this blog to take a risk. Take the risk of using your time to try something new, building something cool because you want to, not because it would look good on a resume. Time is precious. Do the things that intrigue you; don’t waste it.

Graduation Reflections

I cannot thank everyone enough for helping me graduate college last spring. Dartmouth taught me a lot and gave me the chance to make more great friends than I ever imagined. I am very grateful!

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My parents threw a party for me, and it was great to introduce my grandma to my friends and mentors.

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Mike Wooten, Head of Student Life and an Awesome Cook
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My parents’ friends Wendy and Donnie
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Mike and Kathy from the Outing Club. They have Helped me build trails and keep everything moving in the right direction!
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Dudley, one of my mentors in the woodshop and a great friend
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Bob Dean, My first engineering employer
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DVC, my advisor at school, who has helped me get out of more than one tight spot
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Peter Speigel, without whom I would not have turned half the bowls that I have
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Len and Blossom, forever my best buddies
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Hannah and Abby, all we need is Tim and Andrew and we have the original freshman troublemakers

Investiture was a great time to bond with my fellow 15’s, and my parents even agreed to my final college deal – I would behave all week if they let me skip the full campus graduation. Instead of sitting in the boiling heat and waiting to walk across a narrow stage, I went canoeing with my family on a beautiful day in New Hampshire.

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My aunt and my Grandma enjoying the gradation ceremony!

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I think we made the right choice.