I started to dwell on the subject of going back to school in the beginning of this century. I had gone through high school but quit a month before graduating due to life's complications at the time. I managed to get a certificate as an electrical technician from the state technical system but never did receive my actual high school diploma. Working through many manufacturing and automotive jobs, I gained a great wealth of mechanical knowledge and skills, but always wanted to get a degree in Mechanical or Electrical engineering. Realizing that my future wouldn't hold the challenges that I needed, and having a great mechanical inclination; I embarked on my long quest for an engineering degree.

I started off taking the placement course for my GED diploma as this was necessary to start school again. I placed fairly well and didn't have to take any pre-test courses. Taking the two day GED test,
I received my GED *with honors.*. I didn't know there was such a thing!. I enrolled over at Middlesex Community College in Middletown Ct. for the beginning of my college career.

This school was pretty cool, it was small and only about fifteen minutes from my house. I enrolled in the program for an Associates degree in Engineering. They had a program for Engineering and a program for Engineering Technology, also. Since I started, I maintained a four course full course load, while working about thirty hours a week. At this point, I was married and I could take some of my courses at night.

The first year writing course. Practice in writing for college: delivering research material, creating sound argument, expressing the relationship of self to surrounding. Focus on complex sentences and rewriting. Minimum of six essays. Readings included.

An introductory course in the basics of algebra. Topics include the real number system and properties; linear equations and inequalities in one variable—solutions, models, and applications; graphing linear equations in two variables—slope and intercepts; integral exponents and laws of exponents; polynomials—addition, subtraction, multiplication, factoring, solving quadratic equations by factoring; square roots.

This was the first year Spanish course for my International requirement.. Fundamentals of grammar with emphasis on the development of speaking, listening, and writing skills. Not too bad, class participation a must, with the 105 part being a Lab in conversational Spanish after the regular course ended.

Boring. This was the first level social sciences course for this general education requirement. It was about different cultures around the world, the family unit in different societies, sex, culture, religion, marriage and economic stuff. Did I mention that it was boring.

History of North America from the earliest inhabitants in 8000 BC to the settling of the land mass now known as the United States. United States history up until the Civil War. This included the different Indian and French inhabitants, the Louisiana Purchase, Spanish American War, etc. Included was the history of the lower peninsula cultures such as the Mayans, Incas, Aztecs and Spanish. This course was a lecture course and three or four pages of handwritten notes were taken each class. Essay style tests. I had the choice of taking the honors version or not. I took honors and got an A, the honors version required a twenty page paper, I think I did it on Isaac Newton. (I would later realize that was a good choice as he discovered many fundamental principles of Engineering) Pretty interesting course, I might still retain some of that information!

A continuation of Math 101, harder algebra. Graphs and their meanings. Trigonometric expressions and their graphs.

Topics included linear, quadratic, and power functions; rational expressions and equations; radical expressions, equations and introduction to complex numbers; and systems of equations.

All about classical music from the Renaissance era to the modern era. Recognization of styles in all the eras such as the Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, Romantic and Modern. Explanations and samples of all the different wind, percussion, and string instruments and explanations of styles and ensembles. A lot of sampling of all different styles and eras.

The next logical place to go after English 101 ! This included some analysis of various short stories and poems by famous authors. A number of mid size papers that had to be written (5-6 pages). We read the entire book of Hamlet by Shakespeare and did a complete analysis of it.

An introductory survey of the planet Earth. This course covers topics in astronomy, oceanonography, meteorology and geology. Some topics were tides, currents, volcanoes, eras of evolution (pre-cambrian, jurassic, etc), air currents, plant growth, etc. Very interesting course, very good teacher

Basic first chemistry. An introduction to inorganic chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, bonding, nomenclature, gases, solutions, equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, and acids & bases. Two and a half hours of class and three hours of laboratory each week. All three chemistry courses taught by Skip Wiley, one of my best teachers to date.

This course explores significant economic, social, political, military, and intellectual trends in Western Society during the past three hundred years. Particular emphasis was given to the ideas of political and economic freedom, the impact of the Industrial Revolution, changing intellectual climates, colonialism, the two World Wars, and the Cold War.

A second year writing course. Analysis of how to write a term or research paper, citations, styles, references. Four or five papers due that were from ten to twenty pages long. I wrote a twenty page paper on Hydrogen as a fuel source, another on helmet laws, some papers done on current events.

Second year Chemistry course after Introductory Chemistry; more atomic theory, electronegativities, atomic arrangements. I had to do a 20 page paper on "The Halogens", fun stuff ! Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Titration. Three hours per week lab included doing experiments with follow up lab reports.

An introductory course presenting the business uses of computer hardware and software. It taught the fundamentals of the Windows environment and use of popular business software using word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation applications. E-mail communication skills were developed, and the use of the Internet as a communication and research tool. An overview of web page design was covered. Most of this stuff was pretty familiar to me having worked with computers for years but it was a necessary course.

A study of the leading theories of morality and ethics concerning what is good, right, and just; the principles of good moral reasoning; and the examination of contemporary ethical issues and social problems. Readings in both classical and contemporary philosophical literature. Library research required.

The third stage in my chemistry trilogy. Generally harder chemistry with more in depth information on atomic structure and atomic charges. Equilibrium and non-equilibrium equations and four hours of labs a week with more professional lab reports which required slightly more research.

A preparation for calculus. Topics included absolute value, quadratic and rational inequalities, and polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, their graphs, and applications.

A first year computer software course, we learned beginning software theory and wrote some programs in Basic with "Microsoft Visual Basic" software writing program. Good teacher, my one and only Saturday course yet.

My first course taken at CCSU (along witht the course above), I was actually going to both CCSU and MXCC in this semester. This course was necessary for my Engineering Associates degree but MXCC required that you take it at another college and transfer it as they didn't even offer it. It taught all basic Engineering principles, Torque, Velocity, Vectors, energy equations etc. Gave all different formulas and spent each class doing a final summary of each subset of Engineering to get a rounded view of the whole thing.

Since I was already accepted at CCSU for the Introduction to Engineering and the CS 113 course, it was at this point when I decided to just keep going to CCSU and get my Bachelors as this is what I wanted to
do in this first place. I had a interest in either Electrical or Mechanical Engineering with probably mechanical being my greater passion when I realized that the only Engineering degree that they offered
at this point close to my interests was a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering Technology. One of my teachers who was the most knowledgeable in the industry said this degree was closer to an Electrical
Engineering degree but more practical in today's climate. After pursuing this degree for a few semesters, Central decided to add a real Mechanical Engineering degree and as this is what I originally wanted, I decided to pursue both degrees. This decision
was supported by the fact that four or five of my MXCC credit courses weren't even going to be used for the Computer Engineering degree but were valid for the ME degree. Also, since I already had six or seven courses
that the CET degree needed but the ME degree didn't. In order to maximize my accumulated knowledge I started the double major.

First year Calculus, Insanely hot summer course in a room in Maria Sanford Hall with no AC. Limits and continuity, derivatives, applications of derivatives including transcendental functions. Antiderivatives, definite integrals with applications. I probably lost a few pounds sweating it out.

A course in microprocessor logic. All about AND, NAND, OR, NOR and other hybrids XOR and such. Truth tables, simplifying logic truth tables to select proper chips, figuring logic equations. This course analyzes the different logic circuits, such as counters, timers and others. The Lab attached to this course has all different types of logic circuits built and tested on breadboards and simulators, wires everywhere! It was a pretty interesting course.

A good beginning course for computer software. Starts with the famous small "Hello World" java program and goes on to some more difficult java. Theory on computer interpreters and compilers along with beginning software theory. You have to start somewhere. Three or four Java programs were written and tested by each student.

This course explored some contemporary literature including poems and novels from the ending of the Civil War to the late sixties. A number of 10 page papers and a few essay tests. Pretty fun, much class participation required in the form of discussion on certain stories or poems.

Second year calculus, differentiating, integrating, limits. Again another course in the heat of some serious drama at home, didn't really have enough trig under my belt to do well in this one. Received a D in it, having a hard time with concepts, it's been a while since high school ! I would retake this course after all my other courses strengthened my trig and math skills and do well, erasing this bad grade.

This was your basic public speaking course, skills in preparing and making presentations in front of an audience. Five or six ten minute to half an hour speaking presentations were prepared and presented. Communication skills were learned as well as confidence in standing in front of an audience and connecting with that audience.

This course was about exactly what it says, Circuit Analysis. Introduction to theory, analysis and design of AC and DC circuits. Topics included voltage, current, power, resistance, capacitance, inductance, node analysis, mesh analysis, Thevenin's theorem, Norton's theorem, phasors, transfer functions, steady state and transient analysis. Daily labs involved building and testing working circuits.

First part of the difficult University Physics, contains both statics and dynamics, vectors, lots of problem solving. Lab with this course for two hours a week.

Evil nasty wicked second year Spanish course for my international requirement. The teacher taught the course in Spanish and that was difficult for us being that *we didn't know Spanish yet* !
It was a hot spring in Davidson Hall and there was no AC and it was like a thousand degrees in there, next to the window of sun. It was my first try and I got my second D in school. I would
later retake the course and get a B with someone who explained it in English for us English speaking folk.

First level statistics, teaches the fundamental concepts involved in collecting, presenting, and analyzing data. Topics include frequency distributions, graphical presentations, measures of relative position, measures of variability, probability, probability distributions (binomial and normal), sampling theory, regression, and correlation.

A pretty hard Physics 2 Engineering level course with a lot of calculus. Topics included electrical fields, Electron atomic theory, photons and light theory. Mirrors and lens equations Lab attached to this course. These included lens and mirrors

This course was about basic Internet principles, basic Java stuff, a bunch of html stuff involved. It was definately an entry level course. We made a website with a couple of pages and links for a class project in teams of three and presented them to the class at the end.. This was my first course taught by Brian O'Connell who was a great influence on me. He died a year later from cancer at a very early age, but he took the time to mentor me in a few areas such as robotics and he renewed my drive to succeed as he was a very successful person not just in academics but in spirit also. He will never be forgotten.

This was the first in Cisco's courses for networking. It showed the setup and hardware configuration of small and large networks. A lot of emphasis on cables, different types of routing equipment, subnetting, some history on networks.

This was the Engineering Technology version of the Engineering level Statics course, I took later on. It used easier methods such as directional cosines and stuff, rather than using the calculus and vector based Engineering version. I was overloaded at this point in my life with an alcoholic wife and received a D for the second time in my college career. I would later take Engr 251 which was the harder vector-Calculus based version and get a C.

More java programming, inheritance, recursive programming, vector graphics, linking to html, necessary to write 4 or 5 fairly hard java programs and fall asleep in the boring lectures.

Not being able to handle the despicable D that the last Spanish course gave me, I retook the Spanish 112 course with a really nice teacher who actually spoke a little English, when she was teaching you Spanish, and she was also kind of hot, so I paid attention more! This time, I got a B and learned a little Spanish while I was at it. Cool, now my D is erased from the last Spanish course!

First year psychology course, necessary for one of my general education requirements. I figured I'd take advantage of the Winter Session and get it out of the way. It was actually pretty interesting, especially the stuff about how the human brain functioned, the different cells, chemicals and neurons involved. Especially interesting was how memory was processed. I still use some of the principles today, in studying for my courses which actually makes a difference.

Electrical P-N junction theory, all different types of diodes, all different types of transistors, the theory and circuits involved, Figuring base, emitter and collector voltages and currents, figuring different types of amplifiers, oscillators, rectifiers. Lab included the building and testing of all types of transistor and diode circuitry. Final project required-I built an oscillating siren I could annoy my daughter with!

More on subnetting, router networks, all different routed and router protocols, different network systems design, router configuration. FTP, HTTP, IGRP etc. Cisco tests, lab included configuring routers and troubleshooting issues.

Oh my god, *insanely* hard course all about heat flow, efficiency and energy. Topics covered adiabatic and non-adiabatic systems, ideal curves for thermodynamics, jet engines, nozzles, diffusers
ideal gas theory, fluid flow and manometers, figuring energy loss and efficiency of pumps, compressors and turbines, conduction, convection, radiation, I took two full notebooks of notes where normally a course only has one
or slightly more than one. This is your basic all around thermodynamics course. We used charts for enthalpy and entropy, specific heats, energy equations.
I managed to get an A, but it consumed my life for awhile! It was actually quite interesting the scope of things affected by these types of calculations, though.

Course on internal computer architecture, hard drives, RAM, ROM, busses, peripherals. Basically everything that you need to know about how a computer is physically designed with much stuff on utilities for diagnosing issues with Windows systems. Pretty outdated, though. I just started running Vista on my home computer and this course was teaching me stuff on Windows 95, 98, 98SE and Windows 2000! A tiny bit of info on XP even though XP had been running for 5-6 years, now. Being that I had been working on fixing and building computers since Windows 3.1 in the early nineties, I tested out and got a B.

This course was basically all about Microsoft Office 2007. We learned to master Office 2007, Excel 2007, Powerpoint 2007 and Access 2007. Good course, a lot of different exercises to do. Fairly interesting, it is good to learn the newest version of Office as it will be used extensively in future courses.

For some reason, I thought this course was going to be an easy one. It turned out to be a very interesting course and pretty hard. All about light, frequencies, photon theory. A lot of material on the theory and operation of lasers. Mirror and lens theory equations and applications, fiber optics and their theory and transmission. Lab included the building of light related monstrosities using an optical breadboard. I still subscribe to Photonics, very interesting field ! Professor Odesina is also a pretty good teacher.

Another doozy of a course, pretty hard. All about statics, trusses MOI, centroids, angles, equilibrium equations, frames, beams and cables, etc.. Your basic harder college Statics course after Physics 125 is completed. Managed to get an C in this, but I was going through a divorce and restraining order/mental illness in the family kind of thing. Could have gotten a better grade if I was 100% drama free.

Your basic materials analysis course. Mostly based on metals, but some plastics and polymers included. Topics included atomic crystal structure in metal, dislocations, strain and stress, Shear planes, forces within crystal structures, Miller indices, solidification phase diagrams, euctectic microconstituents (I still slip that one in during casual conversation!), cold working, hot working, strain, creep. Lab reports and labs with tensile tests (metal and plastic), impact tests, creep tests, fatigue tests, hardness tests. Plastic polymers and plastic atomic structure and bond theory. Fairly tough course but quite interesting.

My second try, did much better. Figuring area using integrals, Limits , L'Hopitals rule, harder integrals solved using trig substitution, partial fractions, integration by parts, u-substitution, Infinite series including Taylor series and representation of functions.

Another insanely hard course! Engineering vector mechanics of non-equilibrium conditions, covers the kinematics of motion and kinetics of particles and rigid bodies. Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Momentum, Conservation of Energy, Velocity analysis, acceleration analysis, rectilinear and curvilinear motion, polar coordinates, tangential and normal coordinate systems, instant centers, relative velocity, coriolis effect, momentum, angular momentum, radius of gyration, impulse, frame of reference, D'Lambert's Principle, work, etc. Good teacher, good book.

Teaches the strength of materials. This includes analysis of column and beam loadings, shear and normal stress analysis. Mohrs circle, compression, tensile stresses and strains, thermal strain and stress, composite structures, bending moments, torsional stress and strain, etc.

This course teaches us about crystal structures of materials, design processes, GD&T, casting processes, fluidity, inclusions, casting design, recrystallations recovery, machining processes, built up edges, rake angles, cutting speeds, chip production, forging and stamping, hot forging, cold forging, friction, upset, flow stress, energy, cold and hot welding, fusion welding, friction welding, heat affected zone, precipitation hardening, eutectic and non-homogeneous joints, slag formation, brazing and soldering, powder mettallurgy, ceramics, sintering, slip casting, production processes, Lab work includes using the lathe, Bridgeport milling machine, measuring, machining and producing a metal part working from the blueprints. In our case it was a small detailed cannon barrel made from aluminum.

This course wasn't too bad considering a lot of it had been touched on in other courses. Multivariable functions and graphs of those functions, vectors, dot (inner) and cross product of vectors. Graphs and meanings of those said products. Points, planes and the meaning of the universe in general. Linear approximations of multivariable functions. Graphing parametric functions. Cylindrical, spherical and parametric coordinate systems. This course gave me a better perspective or understanding on some of these previously learned concepts, maybe I should of taken it earlier.

In my course selection, it is hard for me to schedule the courses I need in the time I need to do them in. For instance, I try to get all of my courses in on two or three days a week, so I can still have at least two and one half days of full time work. After all, I'm raising a daughter and paying a mortgage. In the beginning, it was easy, as I always had some general education course to fill in on the day hours that I needed. Now that I'm down to only the specialty courses for my two majors, I'm finding a lot of them either aren't even scheduled for that particular semester or are at night. In fact a lot of them are night courses and I can't do those as I am a single dad. In addition, some courses need certain prerequisites that have to be in a certain order which makes it even more difficult. This current semester, due to the different days that these courses are on, I have three courses on Mondays and Wednesdays,with one also meeting on Friday morning for an hour and a half. Then I have my fourth course that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for an hour and a half. This means that I had to tell my boss that I can't work on Mondays and Wednesdays. I also come in from 8:15 to 9:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, leave work, drive to my course 30 miles away in New Britain, drive back to work at 11:15 AM, then leave for an hour in the afternoon to pick my daughter up from school then come back to work. As you can imagine, that makes it hard for him to schedule work for me and it makes it hard for me to make any money.

Introductory course in working with CAD software. This course taught the use of NX6 software from Seimens (Unigraphics). The beginning of the course dealt with sketches and constraining them, then progressed into more complex extrudes and models. It taught how to assemble multiple parts into assemblies and finally create a full set of drawings from the part files. This was a very interesting course with a lot of time spent outside of class using this software. I was kind of sad when it ended as it was kind of fun creating new parts. This page shows one assignment.

A third year networking course following the Cisco curriculum. Heavily involved with switches and network setup. A good deal of time was spent on Spanning Tree protocols and VLAN trunking protocols. Wireless protocols, security, performance of VLANs, IP phones, VTP, SVI technology, configuring VLANs and trunks,

This course was half a semester in Linear Algebra and half a semester of Probability. This was solving system of equations with matrices, matrix algebra, column vectors and eigenvectors, eigenvalues. Basic probability, combinatorics, permutations, binomial theorem with some Mathematica used.

This was a basically a course about Linux server systems. It required us to set up a Linux DNS server and e-mail server using Fedora Red Hat Linux. All commands necessary to manipulate the Linux files were taught along with learning the Linux file and command system. File permissions, vim editor, groups, files and directories, zone file configuration, DNS structure, Apache server, aliases. A presentation in Internet Technology was necessary at the end of the course.

A course that teaches the Finite Element method of Analysis. Interesting stuff, working with Algor a Finite Element Analysis program. Necessary to do hand calculations on stress and displacement and then verify them with the computer software. Detailed lab reports to do, theory on Matrix calculations and other ways of figuring displacement and stresses, modal analysis, natural frequencies, heat transfer, thermal analysis, fluid mechanics applications, non-linear analysis, Newton-Raphson Method

Class on Operating Systems and Windows Server 2003. Every class had a detailed lab and theory. monitoring Server 2003, support tools,patch management, disaster recovery, backups and restoring, group policies, print services, registry settings, IIS 6.0, NT4 Domains and Active Directories, users and groups, security principals, DNS sysyems and setting them up, WINS, DHCP, disk management, file systems, server hardware, planning testing piloting and documenting systems, troubleshooting. Windows Server 2003 was setup along with Linux, Vista, XP and use of a virtual machine. Much covered in an interesting manner.

Third year computer class in writing in the "ANSI C" computer language, programs to be written each week. working with different data types, operators and expressions, pointers and more pointers ... ugh... pointers to pointers to pointers, statements, arrays, functions, strings, characters, bytes, structures and unions, dynamic memory allocation, abstract data types, I/O functions and more. Not my favorite subject but programming problems were learned and appreciated.

A lot of review on Strength of materials, stress, strain, Mohrs circle, 2-D and 3D. Class to reinforce Engineering principles to design machine elements. The design process was learned, failure analysis was learned, shear and bending moment diagrams, curvature and deflection of a beam subjected to bending explored using both superposition and integration techniques, stresses in beams due to both axial loads, bending loads and combined loads, transverse loading, eccentric loading, Fracture Mechanics, stress concentration and stress intensity factors of different forms, crack propagation, thin and thick walled pressure vessels, press and shrink fits, Hertzonian contact stresses of both cylinders and spheres, bearing stresses, thermal stresses, Tresca and Von Mises stresses, maximum, minimum and principal stresses, torsional stresses, Distortional Energy Theory, cyclic loading, cycles to failure, etc. Much content covered.

A class all about Fiber Optics as the title indicates. Some of the items studied were types of fibers, single-mode, multi-mode, acceptance angles, numerical aperatures, splicing fiber, critical angles, figuring power and attenuation of fiber, refractive indexes, modal and other types of dispersion, birefringence, wavelengths, absorptions, figuring core diameters, responsivity, diffusivity, types and theory of photodiodes and photodetectors, types of noise encountered, types of amplifiers, designing optical networks, transimpedance, avalanche multiplication factors, quantum efficiencies, response times, cutoff frequencies, bandwidth issues, general quantum theory of LED's, laser diode theory, photon theory, Snell's Law, polarization, graded indexes, manufacturing of fiber, dB losses, OTDR's, Wavelength Division Mutiplexing, attenuation coefficients, optical measuring tools, spectral response, power margins, power budgets and more. Five page paper on subject due at end of class; I did mine on long haul fiber optic transmission.

"Introduction to analytical, geometric, and numerical methods for solving ordinary differential equations. Basic models of physical systems using ordinary differential equations. Introduction to software used for solving ordinary differential equations." is the description, this course used the Laplace transform method heavily. First order and second order damped and undamped harmonic motion were covered.

"Engineering probability and statistical techniques used to make inferences in experiments. Probability distributions. Tests of significance, hypothesis testing, simple linear regression, multiple regression models and ANOVA. Basics of factorial experiments Taguchi quality techniques and SPC/SQC." is what the catalog states. Mostly this course teaches us to use the statistical program Minitab to figure basic statistics, regression analysis, multiple regression analysis, hypothesis testing, ANOVA and more. Several labs analyzing data and drawing conclusions are done, this software program is a pretty handy way of calculating Engineering Statistics when used correctly. Hand calculations were also taught. I struggled through this course with a difficult teacher who didn't care about the students and had very inconsistent way of teaching.

"A course designed to assist students in planning, researching, structuring, writing, revising, and editing technical materials. Emphasis on various types of writing drawn from an industrial/professional context: reports, correspondence, directories, manuals, technical articles." is the course description, kind of sums it up.

"Basic principles of fluid mechanics. Hydrostatic forces, kinematics of fluid motion, integral and differential representation of conservation of mass, momentum and energy, Bernoulli's equation, dimensional analysis, viscous flow, frictional losses, pipeline network analysis and design." is the course description and it is pretty much on the money, fairly difficult course. A few more things are material derivatives, pump and head losses, NPSH analysis, and power used by pumps. Not much with capillary action and buoyancy but those are covered in earlier chemistry(capillary action) and physics(buoyancy) courses. Excellent course from a Mechanical Engineering perspective with a teacher who was most knowledgable on the subject.

We learn the principles necessary for computer numerical control part programming and machine tool operation. Laboratory experiences include word address programming, computer-aided programming, and CNC machine tool setup and operation. The CAM program "Mastercam" was taught and 10 or 12 parts were built using this software package to make the CAD model and create the toolpaths and tools used to machine the part virtually in this software environment. G-codes, M-codes, and other NC words were taught for both the CNC Mill and the CNC Lathe.

I applied and was accepted into the Life Support and Sustainable Living Internship Program based at the University of Hartford for the month of January. This program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NASA, teaches the DISC© behavioral profile and how to work in a team. Learning different behavior styles and how to work with them is a key point in working with teams and this program helped to reinforce this principle. Being an active member of a team, creating a productive team environment and leadership skills were also emphasized. This program also helped us learn how to create a team plan for a research project to be done over the Spring semester. Our research project does research for NASA on the new Orion capsule and the next generation space suit breathing apparatus. Contacts were developed with faculty and members of the scientific community. This program runs for sixteen days, full time in January, to develop team skills and then the teams work through the semester afterwards to complete and present their research projects several months later.

Since I have already learned the Siemens (Unigraphics) NX6 CAD modeling program but am seeing the CAD program Solid Works being used extensively in the industry, I have decided to train in Solid Works also. I have received a year copy of the program from Solid Works and will train and complete the certification test by the end of this semester. The training should be slightly easier than starting from scratch as I have already trained on NX6, Algor FEA and Mastercam CAD/CAM programs. Update - September 2010 - I have learned to use Solid Works fairly well, now being involved in the senior project, click on the subject link to see what I have done. I have more things to learn such as the fluid flow and electrical drawings and the FEA feature in Solid Works.

This course starts off by teaching us Design of Experiments and doing some statistical analysis on different designs with Minitab. It then goes on to teach us Microsoft Project. We then pick a senior project and split into teams. In our case, we all picked the Hybrid Rocket project sponsored by Dr Naoumov and I was elected team leader to oversee the design and fabrication of this project. Being that there was only a few weeks left in class, we began to make preliminary designs for the rocket, rocket test fixture and associated instrumentation and controls. We made a project plan using Microsoft project. A number of parts were ordered to use grant money before the end of the semester and a preliminary design, 28 page paper and an hour long presentation was done by the group.

This course involves a bit of brainstorming on different methods of more ecologically sound and different power generation techniques. It starts with a review of Thermodynamics and Energy theories and involves planning and doing a project on a power generation subject such as geothermal power, fuel cell powering methods, wind energy and the like. We did numerous calculations on different energy cycles, ideal diesel, Otto, Brayton and others. We studied solar power and did energy calculations. I did my project on wind energy, I did an hour powerpoint presentation and twenty five page paper on the subject. It taught me a lot about wind energy.

Different types of signal acquisition, load cells, transducers, static and dynamic response sensor systems, amplifiers; theory of A/D and D/A converters. This course uses many different statistical methods of studying signals and error analysis. Labs were done to set up thermocouples and strain gauges.

Analytical study of polymer composition, the basic monomers such as ethylene, amide etc.and the derived plastics such as polyethylene, polyamide, polyvinylchloride, polystyrene, polypropylene and many others. It has extensive review of basic elemental molecules and the polymer chains that are formed by reacting different materials. Thermoplastic, thermoset, and polymer matrix composite material composition and properties. The manufacturing processes utilized in the plastics and composites molding and fabrication industry are taught. Most processes are covered from the methods to make the plastics to the methods of utilizing these plastic materials. The manipulation of properties by the use of different manufacturing techniques and chemical reactions are covered in great detail. This course also has a lab in plastics testing and manufacturing methods in the materials lab once a week. Actually this is one of the more interesting classes I've taken to date. Good book ...

Signals and the systems used to process those signals. Signals and systems modeled as functions in set and subset theories. The software used to process these signals; this involves much use of Matlab and Octave, the compiler underneath Applications of Fourier series, Fourier transform, Laplace transform, and Z-transform in the analysis of circuits and systems.

This course has just started, but our objectives are to finalize design for our hybrid rocket and test stand. As team leader, I need to coordinate the six team members to keep the project flowing. Due to the complexity of both the rocket test fixture and the associated control systems, our group was split into two teams, one for the design of the rocket and the other for the control system and the instrumention end of it. Our instrumentation has all been bought (sensors and software) and we will have to start fabricating rocket and fuel grain and test our sensors and develop working drawings of our setup to properly document it.

Basic Engineering Heat Transfer course, difficult subject, a lot of effort involved to formulate heat equations and then solve them, conduction, convection and radiation and all associated formulas both in 2D and in 3D.

This course teaches all about propulsion systems, turboprop, turbofan and turbojet engine workings. Calculations of Brayton Cycle and shock waves. Calculation of thrust and calculations of all combustion products and combustion methods. Solid, liquid and hybrid rocket theory and operation.

This course teaches all about the inner workings of microcomputers such as the Texas Instruments MSP430. All about the registers, program counters, stack pointers, and status registers. Binary and hexadecimal addressing, machine code. We will use the IAR workbench program for labs and will make a final project that utilizes programming a MSP430 in machine code to do a prescribed task.

In order to continue working on the Hybrid Rocket Project in my last semester having already taken the senior project course, I'm in an independent study to finish this endeavor. Since I had a large involvement in all of the designs for the project and there was a lack of time to finish the proper documentation and testing of the systems, I stayed on to help the new team finish the test fixture and document all systems. This also allows me to participate in the actual firing of the rocket. I am the only member to stay on.

This course teaches how to convert electrical, mechanical and rotational systems into transfer functions and state space representation to allow the dynamic control of systems. Laplace transform theory is heavily used. The application of using Matlab to develop and interpret all types of systems is also done. Some coding knowledge is used and programs are written in Matlab.

This course does not really have anything to do with aerospace design but it teaches us to check stress and strain of linear and non -linear systems. It is basically a graduate level Mechanics of Materials course. The principles of deriving equations for stress and strain using partial derivatives and integration is taught. The theory of elasticity, Airy Stress Functions, Castigliano's theorem and matrix algebra are all used to find answers to the forces that are present in aerospace structures and any nonlinear application. Analysis of statically indeterminant systems is done using the methods taught in this course.

This course is the standard prep course taken to review for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam which certifies you as an Engineer. While I don't actually need this exam for my degree, I am going to take it anyway because without it, I will always be a Junior Engineer, and never be able to be a Senior Engineer. Most Mechanical Engineering students won't take this exam, while the Civil Engineers are required to take their version of it to get their degree. Since I am fresh from school, I might as well take it now, while some of this knowledge is retained in my grey cells.

This is my last semester for my degree in Mechanical Engineering. I have completed my degree in Computer Engineering Technology as of December 2010 and should have the requirements of my Mechanical Engineering finished as of May 2011.

I was nominated by the Engineering Department here at Central to give a presentation at the University of Hartford's Student Paper Night which is a poster and presentation competition. It also gives the other schools such as UHart, UCONN, Fairfield University, etc. a chance to see the projects that are being done at different universities. This basically required me to write a 15 minute presentation and present it in the allotted time at this event. This presentation went real well and the other universities were impressed with our project. One professor was impressed that during the question period, I gave all my temperature answers in Kelvins. He ended up giving me a SAE paper he had written on measurements because of this.

I was also nominated to give another 15 minute presentation on the Hybrid Rocket Project at the Student Professional Development Conference at the UCONN Storrs Campus in April 2011. I was one of two students chosen and this was kind of a big deal as it was held by the northeast chapter of ASME. There were a few hundred people there and this presentation also went real well. I was able to speak with a number of distinguished professors and industry Engineers about our project and help get our Engineering program some notoriety.

I was also nominated to present a poster for our Hybrid Rocket Project at the CSUS Research Conference at WCSU in April 2011. Again this ended up being kind of a chore, having to make a poster and figure out how to print it and display it. See page link for poster info. I made a poster and will present it on Saturday April 16,2011 along with a current team member and Professor Naoumov.

What a long strange trip it's been