Schlumberger will cover the cost of attending the 2010 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 5 Technical, Professional and Student Conference for two University of Houston engineering students who won a local circuit competition Saturday.
With only one spot available for a UH team at the regional circuit design competition, John Glover, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the Cullen College who helped put together the event, challenged interested students to face off for the position.
Beating out five other teams of UH hopefuls were electrical engineering juniors, Ian Bailey and Danny Rodriguez—earning them the honor of representing the university in Dallas April 17.
“The main reason I participated was because I had never tried to design a circuit before,” said Rodriguez. “The win was definitely unexpected. I went in just to have fun and came out representing UH in regionals.”
Interest in being a contender in the competition, Glover said, increased after UH took home a first place win last year. It was the first time a pair of UH students had entered the competition in seven years.
“Just the fact that we are going to compete thrills me,” said Glover. “Last year was the first time in several years we competed and we did quite well. Just doing this local contest will help others learn about it and maybe create even more interest next year.”
The local circuit contest challenged six teams to construct an elaborate doorbell. Using some combination of parts from a kit they were provided, the students set out to meet a list of expectations for their device. Among them, ensuring their finished product was capable of playing two tones on separate frequencies through a speaker.
Devised to closely mimic what they would experience in Dallas, the students had six hours to design their doorbell. At the end of the time, each explained and demonstrated their design to three Shell engineers who volunteered to judge the event.
Rodriguez credited the fact both he and Bailey are participants in the college’s Electromagnetic Undergraduates (EMUG) program, where each do research, with their ability to produce a working prototype.
Schlumberger provides products and services in everything from exploration to production for the oil and gas industry. Their gift of $800—$400 per student—will afford Bailey and Rodriguez money to pay for gas, lodging and the conference registration fee in April.