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Engineering student’s ambition to enhance electronic skills

Posted 5 June

“For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in how things work and how to improve them, as I got older this developed into a passion for engineering."

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Harper Adams University student Joe Robinson aspires to be an electrical engineer of agricultural machines. In the future, he hopes to bring electronics to implements and machines that haven’t previously relied heavily upon electronic components.

To reach this goal, Joe is studying MEng Agricultural Engineering and learning about computer programming in his spare time. He has also recently been awarded a Douglas Bomford Trust Scholarship.

The 20 year-old from Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, said: “For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in how things work and how to improve them, as I got older this developed into a passion for engineering.

“Ever since a friend told me about the engineering courses at Harper in Year 10 I had the goal to become a Harper Adams engineering student.

“Working on the family farm, I've always had an interest in farm machinery and have regularly helped my dad fix things and carrying out general maintenance.

“I love spending time in the workshop, either creating new items from scratch, or adapting old items to fit a new purpose or perform better. This has shaped my view on engineering and has developed my interest so that I like to work out how everything in my environment works and fits together.

“An extra-curricular activity that I’m particularly interested in is learning computer programming. As I've grown-up I've watched as technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. I've found the world of electronics fascinating, especially the fact that by using electrical inputs, mechanical outputs are achievable.

“The use of electrics is becoming more and more widely used and everything is using them as a control medium. This has inspired me to learn programming to allow me to move further in my field of employment in the future as well as giving me an enjoyable hobby to fill my spare time whilst studying at university. I’m currently using a Raspberry Pi to learn programming which is enabling me to complete a few projects that I’ve designed and developed.

“After I’ve completed my degree I hope to become an electrical engineer of agricultural machines. This will hopefully allow me to work on current electrical systems as well as help develop new ones and bring electronics to implements and machines that haven't previously relied heavily upon electronic components.”

In response to receiving the scholarship, Joe said: “I plan to spend the money on expanding my knowledge of programming and computing. I’m going to invest the money in teaching myself to programme using Raspberry Pi's and Arduinos, using online content and courses as well as textbooks and project books.

“I hope to teach myself enough code and programming skills that I can undertake my own projects without the use of guides and tutorials and be able to produce functional devices whilst gaining experience.

“I already have a project idea that I’d like to pursue; creating my own CNC router table, controlled by an Arduino.

“I’d like to thank the Douglas Bomford Trust for this amazing opportunity.”

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