Thursday, May 28, 2015

Student Spotlight: Hyder Shad - Electrical Engineering

This year has been incredible. I have had some truly incredible experiences. My first day of the internship with the Perot Museum, I was already helping to build an exhibit hall, not only learning the logistics of the business as well as structural and design elements, but also wiring photo-gate timers and light cube walls. I soon began to learn how to solder, woodwork, 3D print and design, program laser cutters, and program Arduino controlled robotics within my first two weeks. All throughout the summer, I worked throughout the entire museum on repairing the electronics within countless interactive exhibits that are beaten down by the eight thousand visitors daily. This is no easy task, as the exhibits are custom made with little to no useful documentation. I not only got to work on custom built robots and within my field of electrical engineering, but also on projects involving so many different skill sets such as carpentry and graphic design. Through working in a science museum, I of course also learned about various scientific fields: biology, chemistry, geology, paleontology, astronomy, and so much more. I've partaken in rocket launches, pine wood derby races, and halloween shop door contests. I've been to Social Science events where the museum unveils special experiments and exhibits along with one of the coolest parties around. I even had the opportunity to work the World of Tomorrow event and meet with UTD NanoTech lab researchers using CNTs and electric current to produce super strong spring fibers, operate a $4.1 million DaVinci robotic MIS system, have a drink poured by an automated robot butler, eat liquid nitrogen frozen s'mores, and see some of the latest cutting edge technology available. But most of all, the experiences I have had with my many mentors throughout the building, especially with Mr. Cederstrom, have been truly unique in the sense that I now have such a diverse, intelligent, hilarious, and downright awesome family of friends. One of my most memorable experiences has been working on a model Tesla Coil with Mr. Cederstrom, on which we spent an entire night trying to build and make it give off 10,000 volt arcs of lightning. I learned a lot through this project about capacitors, high voltages, current, magnetic induction, and of course the fabrication processes involved in building a tesla coil. I also got to learn a lot about what Mr. Cederstrom does as an HVAC engineer, and how many fields and subjects he has to be proficient in to become a successful engineer, especially in terms of his knowledge of electrical engineering. From making my robotic hand, to a full size robotic exoskeleton, I have made lifelong connections and experienced privileged opportunities given to almost no one else. I am truly thankful to everyone at the Perot Museum for such a wonderful past two and a half years. It is heartbreaking that I will be ending my volunteer experience there this summer as I will be going off to college to pursue my studies in electrical engineering. It has been simply an incredible experience that will forever shape my future.