My Undergraduate Research Program in Engineering and Robotics

Published: 2021-09-14 14:45:09
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Category: Learning, Modern Technology, Technology

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Creative and unstoppable questers for solutions, engineers apply scientific and mathematical knowledge to approach problems. Engineering is about perseverance and determination and involves cycling many ideas, and sometimes scrapping or completely changing an idea you’ve been working on for a long time. It requires a unique blend of flexibility, compromise, and patience, tempering you into a problem solver prepared to tackle any challenge.
I was CEO of both my school’s competitive underwater robotics teams for two years. The competitions entail completing several arduous pool missions and lengthy technical and professional documentation. We must create professional marketing displays for our product and process. Lastly, an engineering presentation makes the contest a challenge.Over the course of two years, I have held a multitude of integral positions within the two teams; I’ve had experience as a mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and software engineer, and also as the CTO, CFO, and CEO, and my mastery of engineering principles allowed me to be a mentor to fellow teammates. I helped others understand and utilize concepts to improve ROV designs. I also helped team members write with more concise, scientific terms in the engineering notebook and provided guidance on how to weave in essential concepts during the oral presentation. I carefully tracked progress and work distribution and adhered to a strict timeline.
There are intangible decisions like how to bond the team to become a cohesive unit and function as a well-oiled machine. We discuss the pros and cons of research-based solutions. Often, the final idea needs refinement, or various approaches are stitched together as a viable solution – team democracy at its best.
The environment in this club is conducive to both intellectual and social growth. My soft skills – public speaking, leadership, management, decision-making, teamwork, writing, organization, and time management – have improved tremendously. I have grown as a leader, an engineer, a speaker, and as a person. Underwater robotics has shaped who I am and changed my way of thinking. It has lent impetus to my aspirations to take wing!
I dream of leaving my mark in Exeter. I would like to start an underwater robotics team so everyone can have the same great experience and to spread this love to others! The underwater robotics competitions – SeaPerch and MATE, developed by MIT, Office of Naval Research, NOAA, NASA, and others – are held annually at regional, national, and international levels to get youth to innovate solutions for real-life implementation. It is an eye-opening experience to real-world application of engineering. The team brings together students of varying backgrounds and skill sets in a unique experience to research and learn to utilize all available resources.
We would need a pool to practice in, and it is a yearlong commitment. The competitions require community engagement – perfect to share with the PEA community – and are very environmentally-minded – an excellent fit to Exeter’s non-sibi motto, and Exeter is already very environmentally conscious! We will be the environmental voices for the future of our planet.
The effort and time one commits by embarking on this extraordinary journey are repaid many times over by the numerous personal and professional growth opportunities and the unique, valuable learning experience it offers. The underwater robotics team is an opportunity to develop invaluable interpersonal and professional skills in business, communication, leadership, networking, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. It is an empowering first step toward remedying oceanic issues and promotes social problem-solving skills. It teaches you not to fear mistakes, but to learn from them, and to strive for continuous improvement and keep an open mind for ways to improve. Underwater robotics fosters a growth mindset, especially as possibilities are limited only by your own imagination, energy, and creativity. Everyone pushes each other to strive for excellence, and it inspires a sense of passion, drive, dedication, and commitment.
Students learn a lot of physics and other engineering principles and concepts in a very discussion and discovery based and hands-on manner. Physics is key to understanding the world. In underwater robotics, everyone has the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions. Hearing ideas contributed by others helps to refine your arguments. By following the process and hearing feedback from peers, students are motivated and become verbally talented, developing their own unique style and voice. This is a genuine display of the Harkness methodology.

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