Switching Lanes

By Svetoslav Angelov

Ignore what job adverts tell you about a degree requirement for an electrical engineering position.

In DUT everything is possible. Even if you are majoring in Mechanical Engineering and you are asked to design PCBs for the electronics department. This is what I had to do 1 month ago, which definitely tells you a lot about the variety of work we do at DUT. More on that in a second.

By joining the team I knew from the start that if we wanted to win the FS competition in Germany it would mean that all part- and full-time members would have to push themselves to the limit. This, however, is only possible in the correct working environment. At DUT, this is exactly what we do.

The experience of being part of DUT is completely opposite to just being a full-time student. Have you had a coursework or exam on designing a race car from scratch? The learning curve here is exponential and the team-work skills you develop in such a dynamic environment is something you cannot really gain by monotonically learning theory and attending exams. I hope my professors don’t read this…

I started off in the Vehicle Dynamics department, more specifically Kinematics, where we aimed to find and simulate the optimum suspension geometry for all competitions (won’t go into details but check meme for more info). Despite specializing my bachelor thesis in this particular field, the nature of the work in DUT was still quite challenging and involved a lot interfacing with other departments within tight deadlines.

Upon finishing in kinematics, and leaving it to suspension to model it on CATIA, I was asked to go to Electronics. Switching departments meant that I would have to work outside of my comfort zone, using methodology and approaches that I was unfamiliar with, such as Altium for example...

Fortunately, I was surrounded by a group of great students who are eager enough to help each other all the time, which made the whole process a lot more enjoyable than expected. The PCB was for the BSPD device (Brake System Plausibility Device) which, checks for the event of hard braking, in which case the motors are not fed a large amount of current. So, it’s hard to say it was not a job of great responsibility (everything you’d do in the team has a great impact and is important for the performance of the car)

Now that the PCB is done…beers on me if it works from the first time….