Cari Morgan, Logansport, Indiana
Making a difference
I want to enter into the medical field, working with equipment or technologies like pacemakers or EKG machines. I want to further that technology to enhance or make people’s lives better. I want to make a difference with those circuits. When I started getting in to programming, I saw that I could do some really cool things. When I graduate, I thought, I can really do something meaningful with my career.
Technology is obviously everywhere. Your cell phone, your computer. It’s not going to work unless people like me are around to understand how to build them, how they work or how to control them. When you have electronics, you are dealing with hardware and software. Hardware is the physical component that makes up the device, and the software enables you do something with the hardware. We learn the basics and in-depths so we can edit existing technology and create our own. There are many paths. Some of us specialize in analog, some specialize in digital, some specialize in power.
I attended summer camps at Purdue. There were a wide range of classes, but the ones that piqued my interest were the electrical engineering and computer building classes. At a young age, I had formed an idea of what I wanted to do. My older sister came to Purdue, and she would show me what she was building with circuits. Looking at her homework and labs, I thought, “This is something I really want to do!”
All my classes have been really great. In ECET 27900 (Embedded Digital Systems), we created some really cool applications that included writing to an LCD, manipulating motor controls, and changing speeds. It helped me expand what I think I can do with digital.
I bugged my professor for a chance to work on a real-world application of the work we were doing in lab. So I am helping him with an energy monitoring system using electric vehicle batteries. We have set up a system that will help create a steady flow of energy. The system, which uses two batteries, is controlled with microcontrollers. If the voltage coming into a system is too low, the batteries will kick in to provide additional charge. We are still in the testing and building phase of the project.
I am secretary of the Association of Mechanical and Electrical Technologists. We work on lots of projects, like the Rube Goldberg competition, the Sumo-Robot competition, and little projects to learn more about our majors. We had a booth at the annual SpringFest on campus, and we were able to show kids all of the really cool things you can do. It’s great seeing these kids get excited and pull their parents into our booth to show off the fun activities.
Adding value to the degree
I added a biotechnology minor because, if I want to be in the healthcare field, I need to see the biology aspect of technology. I wanted to understand the basics of what biology is and how it can be incorporated into technology. My OLS minor is important because you need to know how to lead and interact with people. I need to know how to deal with different personalities and figure out how to work with other people who are not like me.