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Cambridge Engineering Society Easter · June 2019

CUES grants article - CU Space Flight

Crossword Meet the CUES President - Kim Barker!

Meet the Dyson Centre Manager - Dr. Richard Roebuck

THE CAMBRIDGE ENGINEER CUES MAGAZINE W W W. C U E S . O R G . U K

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Start revision early and study in cycles so you won't forget the first module by the time you reach the last module.

content page Take notes of the mistakes that you make in each past paper, you can keep them as a Word document and have a look over them before every new paper you do.

You may think I know nothing but I’m still going strong.

Just go to lectures and do some revision in the Christmas vacation. If there is only one thing that can go wrong in the world, that would be be crib!!

editors word

Photo by Vitaly Vlasov from Pexels4

From the Editor Easter term always seems longer than the other two although it is actually 2 weeks shorter. On the left hand side there are some suggestions from your pals. In this short edition of magazine, we will introduce to you our

Pace yourself, don't get too stressed, organise your time and don't go partying every week.

new CUES president Kim Barker with her stories. I conducted an interview with the dyson centre manager Dr. Richard Roebuck (who was also my Directors of Studies). A report from CU Space Flight Society will also be presented. The

Read through notes and make sure you understand everything. Past papers to check knowledge and fill in gaps afterwards.

activities mentioned in the report are funded by CUES grant scheme. Finally, good luck for the upcoming exams and all the best for the projects!

Get good group project mates and work consistently throughout.

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--Lettice Wei

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Meet the CUES President!

♥ Can you briefly introduce yourself? I am a third year engineer from Emma specialising in information. I am very excited to be this year's incoming CUES president! ♥ What does CUES do? CUES is a massive society with 1300

sponsored by some very big engineer-

a strong sense of community between our

how you gradually become the

ing companies and help to promote

members. Another very important thing we

CUES president?

career opportunities through our pub-

do is provide CUES grants to enable some

I applied to the CUES committee in

licity channels and our annual careers

of the fantastic individual and group pro-

my first year after recommendation

fair. As well as that we do fun stuff like

jects that go on around the department.

from somebody already on commit-

an annual dinner and an international

♥ What made you get involved in CUES?

tee. They said it was a great way to

trip, as we think it is important to have

Could you share with us your story of

get involved with organising things around the department and to meet engineers from different years and

active members. We aim to provide members with technical enrichment and experience beyond what is taught in lectures, with events such as hackathons and competitions and presentations from speakers in industry. We are also

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colleges (it is - I recommend you apply

we have an amazing bunch of people

ment.

have always loved maths and science

too!). In my first year I worked as a pub-

- I am excited to see what we can do

A big focus for us this year is getting

(classic cliche personal statement line, I

licity officer which gave me a great feel

over the coming year.

more feedback from our members and

know). But I personally think engineering

for the wide range of events thatroebuck the richard

♥ What new initiatives do you have

engaging with as many as possible.

is such an important part of our society

committee put on and how important

for CUES in the upcoming year?

We are really keen to hear what you

which can really be used in a positive and

the publication of these are.

This summer we are going to be very

have to say, so please feel free to get in

exciting way. I also love the creativity that

After this I was keen to continue my

busy working on the new website. We

touch at any time! Lastly, we also want

engineering projects demand and find a

work in CUES but in a role with a bit

also want to work on a new inter-

more responsibility so I applied for a

face for inter-year advice,

director role in the operations team in

where older years can give

second year. I loved working with this

a more informal feedback

website,

team as there was lots of scope to try

for helping younger years

to stream-

out new ideas and experiment with dif-

make decisions on mod-

line process-

mind sharing about what

ferent events. For example we tried out

ule options. We are also

es both inside

you do in your spare time?

new welfare events (pick and mix and

pleased to announce

committee

I've moved around a lot before

ice-cream day), new diversity initiatives

the creation of a new

and for members.

and magazine ideas and are also in the

Access role, to help

♥ What led you to a

process of creating a new website with

improve the work

improved functionality for members.

CUES does

Finally, I applied for president because

with Out-

I was really enthusiastic to continue

reach out-

some of these initiatives that I had start-

side the

ed working on such as the website and

depart-

to use technology

real

and incorpora-

satisfaction in a well designed innovative product. ♥ Finally, do you mind tell-

tion of our

ing us a little about your life before university? Do you

university and experienced living in

major in engineering? I

other countries like Singapore and Australia. In my spare time I love to do sports, I am on my college rowing team and do university tennis! ♦

the inter-year advice idea. I also felt my committee experience so far could bring a lot to the role. We have already hired the rest of the new committee and

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Photo by energepic.com from Pexels3

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Meet the Dyson Centre Manager !

Photo by Mike Yakaites from Pexels

This year we are bringing a column to introduce some CUES fellows and staff members. In this edition, we have our first dignified and beloved guest - Dr. Richard Roebuck! L: Firstly, can you briefly tell us what you do for your work? R: I work in the Dyson centre, which is an inspiration and creation centre for undergraduates where they can come and do things outside of the lecture theatre. They can turn their theoretical knowledge they gained into something a little bit more practical and try to apply it in ways companies like to see when they are looking to offer people jobs. L: So you are playing the role of linking academic work and industrial expectations? R: Yeah, trying to bridge that gap. I guess sometimes some of the material they get lectured is nice mathematical or scientific engineering problems that tells a nice story, but sometimes you need to go a little bit further to 8

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get to another level that the industry

to use Solidworks.

Professor David Cebon and then I

different things and select your own

started my PhD in October. I carried on

direction. I am not sure I did because it

L: Yeah. That’s a good decision. Let’s

working here for many years. So I start-

was a fantastic opportunity and set of

L: Okay fantastic. Is designing lab work

jump to another question. After grad-

ed my PhD in 1998 and I finished work-

ideas and problems laid out before me

kind of your job?

uation, did you start straight working

ing for David on in 2015.

and that’s why I stayed quite a while in

R: You might roll end up doing a little bit

here?

L: That’s so many years! How did you

that job.

might like to see. Sometimes.

of designing of lab work, but it’s more bespoke projects about how undergraduates solve problems or how they interface with the real world. L: Speaking of the projects, did you initiate, like, IDP or IEP with your colleagues? R: I didn’t initiate those. I am responsible for controlling the new drawing course this year for the first year, where they are learning Solidworks. L: In my year I did CREO, which I never heard about before. Personally, I feel it

come through all these years? Do you

"I graduated on a Saturday morning and I came back here to start my research career on Monday. I did three months over the summer, working for Professor David Cebon and then I started my PhD in October. " -Dr. Richard L Roebuck

R: We’ve partly done it because anecdotically, we seem to hear that companies would prefer people to know how

CUES MAGAZINE W W W. C U E S . O R G . U K

R: I graduated on a Saturday morning and I came back here to start my research career on Monday. I did three months over the summer, working for

Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels2

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L: Okay, Let’s move on to the next top-

R: Yeah. That work is very interesting,

ic. What did you choose to specialise in

very varied and I was involved in ac-

during your third year as an undergrad?

tive systems and semi-active systems

R: So in those days, you picked five op-

on vehicles, systems to make 40-ton

tions. They were four mechanical engi-

trucks tilt into bends, tilt to avoid obsta-

neering options and for the fifth option, I

cles steering axles on trucks.

picked an electrical module on electrical power. They are pretty much the same

is a good choice to switch to Solidworks from that.

enjoy your work?

L: So are your specialities basically,

course as these days expect modules

mechanical engineering, electrical engi-

are split in half. So whilst I took five

neering and a bit of control?

options, you would take the same mate-

R: There was control in there and there

rials in 10 options, so you can mix and

is hydraulic engineering. We helped

match a little bit more now, but I was

develop a microprocessor control sys-

happy about what I did.

tem at one point to adapt it to what we

L: Did you have the information mod-

wanted it to be. In a PhD research you

ules back then?

have the opportunity to do a great many

R: Some, but what I did was an elec-

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trical module: electrical power. It was

really to publish their work as papers.

R: I think if being honest, I would be

rare. What happened is there were

more calculations to do with power

One way which you are measwured is

more inclined to write papers when I

several fellows in college. But the peo-

transmission, motors, electrical power,

by the number of papers you produce

needed than written for something. So

ple who were normally dos were all

switching with thyristers, transistors and

and on the number of topics you pro-

while I’m trying to apply for a funding or

going on sabbatical at some point that

integrated gate and bypolar transistors.

duced on, but they need to be decent

while I’m trying to apply for new posts.

year. When Dr. Babinsky had started at

L: So basically, an extension of IB as

publications that really count. Anyone

That’s when I might try and write the

the college we had an interesting chat

IIA right?

can get something printed but it’s the

papers, in a the run up to that. But I am

at one or two points, when I alluded to

R: Yeah. Kind of.

where you got it printed that counts.

meant to output them steadily and con-

what things had gone well and what

L: So how often do you publish pa-

tinuously.

things had gone badly during my un-

L: Let’s move on to the next topic. I

pers?

L: Here are a few more things that we

dergraduate experience. I think he took

noticed that you’ve published so many

R: I would tend to try to write, in the

want to know more about you. How

that as my being keen to see things,

papers. Did you start to do that during

best case, a few every year. That’s

did you become a Director of Studies

you know, the good things retained,

your postdoc studies?

kind of a normal feeling output.

(DoS)?

and the things didn’t work change. And

R: Yeah. The aim of researchers is

L: Do you set a goal for yourself every

R: That was a very odd situation. I be-

I was fortunate that he suggested that

year or do you always try hard to do

came a Director of Studies about half

as many as you can?

way through my PhD, which is quite

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maybe I could do the role of Director

too? Or do they pay more attention to

L: So were you a supervisor as well as

are limited to six hours per week of

of Studies. I did it for that year. He let

your attitude to college life and engi-

a PhD when selected?

extra payed work cos you are payed

me borrow his room at Pepys library

neering studies?

R: I started supervising straight away

to supervise, you are payed to demon-

building that year, then I took a year

R: Well, they don’t really look at extra-

when I could when I was a student.

strate. So six hours is maximum.

off to finish off my PhD. And then I’ve

curricular activities so much. Normally

So I started supervising in Michaelmas

been director of studies every single

if a person is a Fellow of a college,

term in 1998. That’s the first term of my

L: Did you have some difficulties in

year ever since, for the first year and

PhD.

your staying in 20-year long study and

second years.

L: And since then, you conduct super-

career path? This could include, apply-

vision every year every term?

ing for a PhD, doing your PhD studies,

R: Yeah. Yeah.

being a DoS and becoming the Dyson

L: Wow. How do you feel about it? For

Centre manager?

me it’s like doing the same thing over

R: No, I don’t know any specific prob-

and over again.

lems. I think the thing is, when you are

R: It’s a nice highlight to the day. That’s

in Cambridge for particularly long pe-

how I find it. The problem with re-

riod of time, you can see people think,

search is that you can end up so if you

“doesn’t it get boring, aren’t you doing

try half a dozen things. Maybe none

the same thing.” What I try to do is,

of them work. The upbeat thing about

every few years I try to do something

supervising is that if you know you will

different. You know, this year for exam-

always help someone. So, it always

ple, I went to Singapore to interview.

feels nice.

I’ve never done that before. I’ve never

L: Is it always the case that one DoS is nominated by another DoS? R: Normally the issue is that you want Directors of Studies to be a Fellow of a college, probably your college. If you don’t have one available, then you would tend to look at other options maybe a Fellow from a different college. But fundamentally, you need someone who knows the course, who knows the job, and who’s going to trying to do a good job for the students,

"I became a Director of Studies about half way through my PhD ( which is quite rare)." -Dr. Richard L Roebuck

and hopefully I think I ticked those

run the first-year drawing course be-

boxes. I think anyone who ask about

L: We just learnt that, in your PhD

fore. Nothing stays the same for many

doing the job would be considered. Be

years, you did research, supervising

years.

equally in the same way as you as su-

and dos for the second half. What else

L: How do you feel about interviewing

did you do?

overseas students?

R: The main job is that you are doing

R: Singapore was a very nice place. I

research, but then for a few hours a

saw many people over there. This trip

week you can do some supervising

is the first time I’ve been outside of

and I was able to do some demon-

Europe.

strating of a gyroscope lab. But you

L: That must be a fantastic experience

pervisors for example you look around for the people who are possibly available, and who possibly might say yes and then you start talking with them. L: When they try to select DoS do they consider extracurricular activities 14

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they have already been scrutinized. So you look first for the Fellows of your college. And you then might also look at people who do the supervising for that course.

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for you. So how were the potential stu-

of, outside of this place. But I would

Rotherham near Sheffield. My fami-

building things. I like building steam

dents doing?

socialize with people. That was what

ly moved away from Sheffield when

engines, rail locomotives. My other

R: Some of them did very well. Some

I did in my spare time. And then when

leisure activity seems to be making

of them were very impressive. Some

I became a PhD student, I started to

a lot of concrete at home, to make a

of them struggled a little bit more. But

do other things, as I realised my un-

it was definitely worth seeing all of

dergraduate friends moved on and the

them.

majority left. So I tried to get involved in different things. I took up rowing, so

L: Nice. Back to the time you study

I rowed as a PhD student and ended

here. Did you have activities and

up being the junior treasurer.

welfares like hackathons, internship

"I like the fact that it’s nicely mixed. I like the fact that I’m not completely stuck at a desk. I like the fact that there are practical sides to it, academic sides to it. I like the fact I can design things, create things, help people."

sort of a workshop. My wife would like a green house with a pond in it and a stream on the other side. So, it’s like another couple of tons of concrete to pour. L: Okay finally, could you give us a

placement newsletter?

L: So when you decide to do some-

R: Hackathons didn’t exist. Hack-

thing, you commit yourself to it for a

athons are, as far as I can tell, a rela-

long time?

tively new thing if you would go back

R: I think with some things, yeah. I

10 years, people would not know what

think I’m the kind of person who tends

you mean by hackathon, let alone

to acquire things and find hard to put

going back to 25 years. In terms of

them down. Sometimes you have to.

working experience. Yes, we always

When I took on the job in the Dyson

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

things, create things, help people.

have work experience coordinator. It

Centre, the only thing I carried forward

I was four. And we lived in various

There are interesting machines to use.

was a guy called Egor Wowk? Back in

really was being DoS and supervising.

place in Norfolk. And then when I was

There are interesting projects to look

those days, and he retired very recent-

I stopped being the Admission Tutor at

eighteen, I came here to study, and

at. And it’s fantastic to see things that

ly and now we have Vicky Houghton

Magdalene at about that point, and all

I’ve been here for the next 24 and a

people do around you like launching

the committees that relat-

bit years since. I’ve settle here. We

rockets into space, building racing

it, then still

bought a house here. My mom moved

cars, etc.

on the

herself near here. My brother has relo-

taking that. L: Did you have drawing competitions or bridge building or something like

ed

to

gov-

that? R: No. I think as an undergraduate I

erning

didn’t do very much extra at all. I did

body of

my engineering work. I had the pubs and societies that I was a member 16

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cated themselves near here as well.

concluding summary on what you love about your job? R: I like the fact that it’s nicely mixed. I like the fact that I’m not completely stuck at a desk. I like the fact that there are practical sides to it, academic sides to it. I like the fact I can design

L: That’s a great and comprehensive summary. I think we can wrap it up

L: Final thing to ask. What do you do

here. I really enjoy your stories and

for fun?

anecdotes. Thank you very much for

L: Where are you originally from?

R: weirdly enough, normally a bit more

coming to this interview and help.

R: Originally, I come from a place call

engineering. But practical things, I like

R: Cheers. ♦

Magdalene college.

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CUES GRANTS ARTICLE

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CU SPACEFLIGHT

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Summary

engine a low cost, portable troller contains two ignition

For this project society and versatile solution was boards that run identical members produced a sys- required. An off the shelf firmware, each operating a tem capable of remotely system that satisfied these different bank of valves (A actuating and monitoring requirements

could

not or B). A cage power supply

solenoid valves robustly. be identified, so a custom provides 200 W of powThis was developed to con- controller was designed. er at 24 V to each ignition trol a hybrid rocket engine. Solenoid valves are commonly used for flow control in industrial processes. They are typically controlled by PLCs or other industrial controllers, normally as part of a bespoke system designed around the process itself. For the hybrid rocket 20

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Approach The system block diagram below describes the layout of the submodules present in the valve controller. Two different PCBs were designed and fabricated. These were the ignition board and the communications board. The valve con-

board. A communications board interfaces between the two firing boards and the RS422 bus, routing packets from the PC to the correct firing board. A long ethernet cable separates the valve controller and the operator. A second communications board running different firmware is used

to provide USB serial to the telemetry from the sys- for the project contains RS422 conversion. At ev- tem in real time as well as the three firmware projery stage in the chain, pack- to send commands to the ects outlined above in adets are checked for validity valve controller to perform dition to the hardware deby computing a checksum. tasks such as arming a sign files, as explained The system is controlled bank or turning a valve on. in the README.md file. using a graphical user in- The

GitHub

repository

terface written in Python. (https://github.com/cusThe GUI is used to view paceflight/hybrid-ignition)

System Overview Shown below are photos CUES MAGAZINE W W W. C U E S . O R G . U K

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was reported during the test allowing us to monitor the output voltage and current consumption of each channel. There is also the ability to determine whether a coil is plugged into a channel without actuating it. Safety features including an arming button inside the GUI that caused the firing board to isolate the high current supply ensured there was no danger of accidently turning a channel on.

of the finished system. The soldered to the connectors brid rocket engine in anPCBs were assembled by on the front panel which ticipation for the upcomhand using solder paste, were then cut to length and ing static test firing. Here tweezers and a reflow oven. terminated with the appro- it was required to actuate A suitable mounting system priate crimp pins and hous- two solenoid valves and a was then designed and fab- ings. Care was taken to spark generator. This conricated out of aluminium and ensure that no mains wir- trolled the flow of propane Perspex to hold the PCBs ing was exposed and that and air into the injector and and power supplies inside the enclosure was earthed. then ignited the mixture. a suitable enclosure. The With the hardware com- The test was a success with CAD for the front panel of plete and the firmware writ- the valve controller perthe valve controller was car- ten and tested, the valve forming as expected. The ried out and then laser cut controller was used to field system was very responand assembled. Wires were test the injector of the hy- sive with no lag. Telemetry 22

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Photo by CU Spaceflight

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Crossword Source: RF Cafe, teacherspayteachers, wordmint.

Crossword

ACROSS 1. Containing interfering information 5. Greek letter, used to indicate summation 6. A person who repairs and maintains machinery 7. Inventor of the pre-quantum atomic model 9. A person employed to look after technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory. 10. Piece of metal with one thin end and one thick end Used to split things 12. One axis of an ellipse 15. Having a consistency like that of water or oil, flowing freely but of constant volume. 16. Manned rocket series that went to the moon 17. Troubleshooting software 18. An expansion of a periodic function f(x) in terms of an infinite sum of sines and cosines.(2 wds.) 19. Refuse to absorb energy 20. Not moving; not changing 22. Output following input in a linear manner 24

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23. Constellation : The little bear (2 wds.) DOWN 1. Sampling rate pioneer 2. The 'R' in BER 3. Semiconductor lamp 4. The analysis of DNA from samples of body tissues or fluids in order to identify people 5. A short, slender, sharp-pointed metal pin with a raised helical thread running around it and a slotted head, used to join thi 8. Type of Nyquist filter whose passband-to-stopband transition region has the shape of the first half-cycle of a cosine raised 11. Computer messaging service 13. The main type of sugar in the blood and is the major source of energy for the body's cells 14. Maximally flat filter type (pl.) 21. Swiss mathematician who extensively studied complex numbers

The Cambridge Engineer: Easter Edition 2019  

The Official Cambridge University Engineering Society Magazine, Easter 2019

The Cambridge Engineer: Easter Edition 2019  

The Official Cambridge University Engineering Society Magazine, Easter 2019

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