Finite Element analysis – Abacus
A coursework that was set during 2nd year was to model and simulate an engine crane. As it was being modelled and calculated by a very average computer, the compromise between mesh size and calculation time had to be thought about very carefully. This is because a smaller mesh meant a more accurate representation, however if it took 1 week to calculate then it would not be worth it. I chose a mesh size that allowed the computer to complete calculations within about 20 minutes with only a 1% change from a 60 minute calculation time. This allowed me run many calculations and compare them to get the most precise results. Having done this I now realise the importance of quality with respect to time, not only in university work but in all aspects of time based activities.
Car frontal impact simulation
For a project during university a programme called D3Plot was used to simulate and analyse a front bumper crash at different velocities and masses. After running the simulation and defining the variables and measurable quantity's, over 2000 values were calculated. From this data, I exported it into an excel file to plot the values that were useful for analysis. The problem with this way of plotting the data was that it was very time consuming to do so, a better method would have been to write a Python code to select and plot the data I needed.
Even though my method was time consuming I completed it and ended up with a 2.1 for the coursework.
I have great pride in my custom built computer, which is an ongoing project in which I am constantly progressing and learning new skills. It kick started my interest in electrical science, and has helped greatly in my understanding of this vast topic which is becoming more relevant with the push for electric vehicles and sustainable energy sources. Designing and building a custom water cooling system for my processor allowed me to understand tolerances and shaft/sleeve sizes. Most importantly, I now understand the need for hose clips... after the tube from the pump shot off and ruined a brand new motherboard. Recovering from the mishap (and digging deep into my pockets!), I ran some bench marking software and had one of the fastest computers within a 30 mile radius of my home.
Arduino (open source software and hardware)
I took it upon myself at the end of the 2015 year to learn to write in C code and purchase an open source micro controller. I chose the Arduino Uno to start with, which is a micro controller that can sense and control objects within the real world. Whilst learning the language C, I have learnt how vast it is and the near endless possibility that it holds and feel that this is an invaluable investment of my time.