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Brad Petersen
Director of
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53 Everitt Lab
1406 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

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Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
56 Everitt Lab
1406 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

IEEE workshops help develop skills, build resume

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By Gabrielle Irvin, ECE ILLINOIS
June 10, 2013

  • IEEE conducts workshops every month to encourage students to enhance their skills in all levels of hobbyist electronics, and provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in welding and soldering.
  • Daniel Klingler, a graduate student in electrical engineering and founder of the ILLINOIS chapter of AES, designed the layout for the guitar pedal.
  • Klingler encourages students to participate in workshops to enhance their resumes.

IEEE and the Audio Engineering Society (AES) joined forces last semester to provide students with the opportunity to build their own guitar pedal, and amplify their resumes.

IEEE Workshops Committee Co-directors Brady Salz and Chee Yang Lo worked to develop, organize, and execute skill-building workshops for students to gain experience with design projects, as well as build something cool. IEEE conducts workshops every month during the school year to encourage students to enhance their skills in all levels of hobbyist electronics, and provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in welding and soldering.

The guitar pedal workshop provided students with the materials and direction necessary to build a guitar pedal.

IEEE Workshops Committee Co-director Brady Salz.
IEEE Workshops Committee Co-director Brady Salz.

Daniel Klingler, a graduate student in electrical engineering and founder of the Illinois chapter of AES, designed the layout for the guitar pedal and discussed the process, theory, and application of the design.

Klingler used a layout program called “expresspcb” to create his own layout by placing the components in software onto the circuit board and connecting them with copper traces. He then labeled the PCB, designating the locations of each part, so that the correct components could be properly soldered onto the board.

“I ordered the boards, and ‘expresspcb’ created a PCB exactly like the one laid out in the software,” Klingler said. “Once they came in the mail a few days later, I built one of the pedals to verify that I didn't make any mistakes laying out the board.”

Daniel Klingler, graduate student in electrical engineering and founder of the Illinois chapter of AES.
Daniel Klingler, graduate student in electrical engineering and founder of the Illinois chapter of AES.

The guitar pedal workshop was inspired by Klingler and Salz’s shared interest in audio design.

“It’s something that I’ve always liked to do, and I try to bring that into engineering as much as I can,” Klingler said.

Klingler, who will work as an Audio DSP Engineer for Apple starting in July, encourages students to participate in skill-building workshops.

“Workshops are valuable experiences,” Klingler said. “To me, hobbies make your resume stand out. You have to prove to employers why you’re the best person for that job. If you’re interviewing for a position that really does fit your interest, then you’re going to have plenty of things to put in that hobby section that line up with what the employer is looking for. I can’t tell you how many times a company has asked me about some kind of project that I’ve done. Once they hear that you like to do this stuff, even in your free time, then it legitimizes that you’re interested.”

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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