Alexander Chen is a fourth year mechanical engineering student with an interest in fluid dynamics and control systems. Alex was first exposed to engineering when he joined a program in high school called DATA (Design and Technology Academy). There he learned about machining, AutoCAD and basic circuits. Alex worked hands-on with the design and building of theater props and an automated trash compactor for his high school. To pursue his passion for engineering, Alex enrolled at UCSB to obtain his degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Following his interest in control systems, Alex took the lead in systems programming for his Capstone project. His role on the team included integrating hardware with Arduino software, and programming a PID control system to track and follow the air bearing. Capstone has given him the valuable opportunity to work alongside a team of highly motivated students, UCSB faculty, and professional engineers to design and build a product for Northrop Grumman Astro-Aerospace.
In addition to Capstone, Alex spends his time working in a microfluidics lab at UCSB. Alex researches the use of acoustics as a quick and cost-effective method to detect adulteration in olive oil. Alex has a strong enthusiasm for learning. And working in a lab has given Alex the chance to learn and develop new skills including laser cutting, vibrometry and soft lithography.