While first-year design students prepare to display their APSC 171 designs this week, upper year students are also unveiling their latest creations.
Fourth year electrical engineering students wrapped up their labs this week in Microelectronics II (ENGR 451). The students were tasked with building a circuit that used optical pulse sensors to function like a fitness tracker.
“I have been really impressed with the level of sophistication and the intricate detail that the students put into their projects” says Thomas Johnson, associate professor in the School of Engineering. Johnson says that in particular it is great to see students who struggled through some of the theory, now excel in the practical component of the course. “The practical side of electrical engineering can be daunting, but the students were able to look beyond the challenge and come up with some very functional designs” explains Johnson.
“You really get a sense of how everything works together” says Clayton Jung, a fourth-year electrical engineering student, “and how each individual stage goes into something like a heart-rate sensor.” His colleague, Carl Gould, agrees “It’s been a really nice practical application of the skills we’ve been building up over the first three years and now we get to put things together and see what we can do with them.”
Microelectronics II focuses on the building blocks of integrated-circuit amplifiers, frequency response, feedback and operational amplifier circuitry.
“We’ve been learning about all of these electrical components on their own and in this course we’ve been able to see how they marry together to build something that works” says Ashtyn Gibbs, fourth year electrical engineering student. “We spent hours working on these tiny little pieces, and it was really exciting when you see that pulse and you know that you have finally got it.”