Meet the Electrical Engineers of Project MARCH – Luuk de Gelder

By Luuk de Gelder – Electrical Engineer at Project MARCH Dreamteam

We are Luuk de Gelder, Michael Treffers, Pim Verton and Tristan Wieffering. In June 2017 the four of us received our bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering at the TU Delft. But before that, during our Bachelor end project, we were invited to work for Project MARCH. As we were finishing our Bachelor, we were eager to challenge ourself even more. It would also give us a little more time to get a better understanding of which Master we would like to follow after receiving our bachelor degree. In September 2018 we started to work for Project MARCH after getting through the job application. Right from the beginning we were working full-time. It took a few weeks to get a complete understanding of the work done by the previous year. Not just because we had to get through a whole year of work, but also because we were lacking just a tiny bit of common electrical knowledge. Like the difference between a normal diode, a schottky diode and a zener diode.

A schottky diode is the same as a normal diode, however the voltage over a schottky diode in a conducting state is significantly lower than that of a normal diode. This means that a schottky diode will dissipate less power, therefore a schottky diode is normally preferred over a normal diode. A zener diode blocks the current until it's zener voltage is reached, at that point is starts conducting. Because of this 'strange' property a zener diode is used as a voltage limiting component. This is a whole different function than a normal diode. If you don't know such basic knowledge when looking at electrical schematics containing such components, you get question marks sprouting all over your face.

Even though we have been working in a more practical environment for a while now, we are sometimes still surprised by the practical components. For example, we encountered an ideal diode controller which uses a MOSFET to act as a diode with an even lower forward voltage drop than a schottky diode.