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Engineering Portfolio

I believe a good engineer possesses not only strong theoretical and analytical skills gained through further study, but can also demonstrate a vast array of talents that can inspire creativity, and maximize productivity in any situation. My strongest traits are that I am a hard working individual and team member. I can provide ideas based on engineering principles but also on common sense and practicality. The year’s industrial experience as part of my Degree soon gave a clear indication that applying my University study in practical situations was a must. Since then I have taken every opportunity to practically apply my skills and knowledge. This document is a showcase of my experience so far. This includes my University study, but also stretches beyond this to include 3 years industrial experience as an Electronic Development Engineer and additional work carried out in my spare time.

Please Take a Look...

Swipe Card Reader for Monitoring Student Attendance

UoM School of E&E

Developed outside of academia for The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester. Built to replace an existing market product that did not fit the School’s requirements.

Design Challenges

The project required me to work through the full product design cycle; from agreeing a specification, arranging and completing the hand soldering and assembly of an initial 20 units, and more recently organising the assembly of an additional 20 units.

Compact & Robust Design To be carried by lecturers to their rooms around campus and passed between students in lectures.

In addition, an accompanying Windows Application has been developed for extracting the card numbers that have been swiped. Since January 2011 the devices have been distributed amongst the School’s lecturers to monitor student’s attendance in lectures.

Battery Operated - To operate on two standard AA batteries and have 2-3 month service life.

Simple Operation - Give clear indication to students that the card swipe has been successful.

Low Cost - Achieve product at a cost considerably less than existing product on the market.

Swipe Card Reader for Monitoring Student Attendance The student ID numbers are read using the Magnetic Swipe Card Reader and then processed and stored with a timestamp in ash memory. The ID numbers can then be uploaded onto a computer via a RS232 connection using the windows application. The application then allows the user to export the ID numbers to a Spreadsheet.


UoM School of E&E

Sourcing Parts

Design m e t s y ed S Embedd


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2 RS23

SPI Asse mbl y Dr awin gs a nd B n g i s e D OM t u o PCB Lay

Currently used in lectures...

Post Graduate Research Degree

Master of Philosophy.

Masters Research Project Title

Measurement and analysis of alkaline battery performance for low power wireless applications My research has resulted in three sub projects and custom designs that have been part of my research;

The research has now been completed and is scheduled for oral examination before the award of the degree.

- Battery Monitoring System - Peltier Controlled Temperature Block - Low Power Wireless Sensor Node

The full text of the Thesis can be provided upon request.

Focus of Research The main focus of my research has been in the area of battery technology and the use of standard Alkaline batteries in Low Power Wireless applications.

How much can new low-power Microcontrollers be used to improve performance?

Here are some of the questions that have been asked...

What variables affect the battery service life?

Can the life of a standard pair of Alkaline Batteries be prolonged?

Battery Monitoring System

Master of Philosophy.

The Battery Monitoring System was designed in order to tackle the problem of analysing the cell voltage and service life performance of the Alkaline cells under varying conditions. The Board provides a method to perform a controlled discharge of a pair of cells whilst being able to apply various different current loads.

Syste mD ign PC B D e s

fication ti n e d I t en Compon

SPI B us

esign ing m m a r g o C # Pr

Schem atic Ca pture

A total of three boards have been in operation, discharging in excess of 100 batteries and resulting in more than 350 days worth of experimental results.

All measured information is stored on an SD card as Binary files. The raw data stored in the Binary files can be imported onto a PC, through use of a Windows application written in C#. This data can then be converted into CSV files which allows for the data to be imported into applications such as MatLab for graphical analysis.

Battery Monitoring System

Master of Philosophy..


Current Source

SD Card

ince the discharge currents have ranged between the nA and mA range, dierent types of current source have been used. Each current source is therefore contained on a single module. The discharge current can be switched between two dierent sources to produce a pulsed current load on the batteries


easurements of Voltage and Temperature are stored along with a timestamp on the SD Card. This data is stored within a Binary File, utilising FAT16 formatting and can therefore be opened and read on a PC.


Pair of AA Cells

he board allows for up to three pairs of AA cells to be discharged simultaneously. Each pair has a thermistor located on ying leads between the cells. Relays provide mechanical isolation to remove any load from the cells.

Peltier Temperature Block

Master of Philosophy.

Design Concept Temperature has a significant effect on battery service life, so this brought about the requirement to discharge the AA Batteries in a temperature controlled environment. This has been achieved by using a custom designed aluminium encasement for two AA batteries and a Peltier Module to either cool or heat the encasement.

Fan and Heatsink, to draw heat away from the Peltier Device

Peltier Module, can either heat or cool the ALU encasement

Insulation, ensures that the temperature difference is achievable

Mechanical Design The mechanical design was carried out using Solidworks 3D CAD software, which allowed for several design iterations before manufacture. Since this is a one-off design, certain aspects have been simplified to allow for quick manufacture and future modifications if required, whilst still proving the concept.

Tests Complete...

Low Power Design

Master of Philosophy.

Design Concept The aim has been to design and deploy a low power wireless sensor network. The node design takes into consideration the data gathered from the controlled battery discharges and provides versatile power management. The power management and power supply design will hopefully be able to increase the amount of stored energy that can be used from the standard Alkaline Batteries. A prototype was built and tested but unfortunately delays meant that the aim of deploying a wireless sensor network was not fulďŹ lled.

Bypass DC DC Boost Convertor Reduce Battery Cut-Off Voltage For use with standard Alkaline Batteries Sub MicroAmp Deep Sleep Currents Minimise Leakage Currents 2.4GHz Freq Band Measure Temperature Measure Cell Voltage Monitor Network Performance Versatile Power management

Low Power Design

Master of Philosophy.

Low Power Sensor Node

Physical Deployment

Flash, storage for logging network activity and performance. Load Switch, ensures versatile load management.

Boost Convertor, provides rail from input as low as 0.9V and is enabled via the PIC.

Transceiver, 2.4GHz radio band balanced output.

PIC24, extremly low power 16-bit microcontroller.

Adapter, provides programming header and a RS232 transceiver.

Prototype built...

Tubular pods have been designed to be situated just below the surface with only the antenna [Not shown] above ground level

UoM Formula Student Team

Electronics Team

Formula Student is a student led project to design, build, develop, and compete as a team with a single seated racing car. I have been a member of the team for over 4 years and in 2008-2009 my role was as Electronics Team Leader. The role involved various responsibilities including, collaborating with mechanical members of the team, and co-ordinating work among the Electronics team.

Cooling Control -

Small enclosed solution for control of water pump and fan Eradicate the need for two separate controllers Variable speed control of water pump and fan

Two major design contributions during my time on the team included...

Controller Area Network Final year project of BEng Degree but continued the project to implement it on the car. It was applied to Formula Student car which entered the UK 2009 Formula Student Event and has been implemented since. Network consisted of: ECU (Engine Control Unit) Dashboard VFD display Cooling Control Unit Power Distribution Unit

The team’s best performance in the UK event came in 2008 where we achieved 23rd overall and 6th within the UK entrants. In 2009 the cars performance was hampered by suspension problems, but the team ďŹ nsihed a respectable 34th out of 82 entrants.

Pactrol Controls Ltd

Development Engineer

My responsibilities as a development engineer at Pactrol are mainly focused on .Net windows application development. This has been in Visual C++ and more recently moved to C#.

Appliance Configuration The application modifies the released Freescale S19 Binary files so that the same hardware can be customised to the customer’s required appliance setup. The modified files can then be programmed to the device during production or for samples.

The applications in general provide a form of configuration or diagnostics presented in a clear graphical user interface. Other work has included the development of a Graphic LCD control to accompany the main appliance control, written in embedded C.

USB Diagnostics The application provides a user interface between the companies USB Diagnostics adapter and the Appliance hardware.


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Electronic Engineering Portfolio 2011  

Portfolio of my work as of September 2011

Electronic Engineering Portfolio 2011  

Portfolio of my work as of September 2011