As C-TAP coordinator, Dick meets with customers to assess their problem, and then determines a course of action that will provide the most benefit. His experience in working in university research labs as well as in the private sector is useful in matching Boise State resources to client problems.
Before joining C-TAP, Dick worked in the university’s College of Engineering as the manager of a large research project in contaminant sensing. In this position Dick discovered the energy and reward to be found in managing students. He also worked as a research support engineer, applying his mechanical and electronic skills in the design and fabrication of devices for the College of Engineering’s laboratory infrastructure. Before coming to Boise State, Dick worked for Hewlett Packard in research and development. During his time there, he worked on 25 different programs that included disk drives, printers and scanners and gained experience in both internal and outsourced product development.
Dick has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and holds 14 patents.
Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Division of Research and Economic Development, Boise State
Harold collaborates with faculty and staff to grow the university’s research portfolio and develop strategies to support the institution’s research infrastructure. He also works on economic development issues, supports university research initiatives and promotes statewide research progress.
Engineering Building, Rm 332
Boise State College of Engineering
1375 University Drive
Boise, ID 83706
Current C-TAP Interns:
Matt is a junior in mechanical engineer and has focused on the characterization of the the electronics for a solar powered lighting system for flagpoles. In his work, Matt has measured the voltages and currents at different points in the circuit. Matt’s work identified a component that inhibited the overall efficiency of the system in terms of brightness. A modified circuit was evaluated for light output and battery life. He has also measured light distribution from the LEDs of the system and shown the benefits of a modified circuit that provided greater efficiency.
Through this work, Matt has learned electrical circuit documentation with Eagle software, gained soldering skills that allowed him to modify circuits, the ability to read component data sheets and look for information on key parameters and create a of Bill of Materials. Lastly, he had learned to gather voltage and current information through the programming of data acquisition systems. Matt is wrapping up the work by writing a comprehensive report detailing his experimentation, observations and recommendations.
Leslie is a junior in mechanical engineer and has engaged in a variety of projects during her two semesters with C-TAP. Her initial project was to create a complex contoured 3D form for an inventor with a novel sailboat rudder design.
Her second project was to assist in the implementation of a new power and control circuit for the heated bed of a 3D printer to improve thermal response time and capability. This gave her hands-on experience in circuits, soldering, cable routing and termination and schematic documentation. She also gained experience in the use of shop tools such as drill press and band saw as well as smaller hand-held tools.
Leslie’s third project was to investigate the quality of solder joints for a client’s surface mount technology printed circuit board assembly (PCAs). She took careful photographs of each joint, identified both consistencies and anomalies among the joints and wrote a comprehensive report that detailed her findings and provided recommendations to improve the solder joints. The manufacturer implemented her recommendations and saw a dramatic reduction in defects.
Leslie’s current project is to characterize the consistency of pharmaceutical cream dispensers for a client. This experimental work has entailed considerable data collection and statistical analysis to bring to light the similarities and differences between the various dispenser designs. She is on the final stretch in completing a 14 page report for the work as well as an expansive Excel workbook containing thousands of data points, statistical calculations and charts.
Former C-TAP Interns:
Abbi was a sophomore in mechanical engineer when she was hired by C-TAP. Her strong academic record and communication skills made her a solid candidate for the internship.
Through C-TAP, Abbi worked on a variety of projects including the creation of a complete 2D SolidWorks package that included part and assembly drawings that enabled a local barrel maker send the design out for quote.
In addition, Abbi worked on a mobile cart for the Boise State makerspace to allow secure access for a small CNC mill. Her design required her to build the system around existing parts that she carefully rendered in 3D space. In the process, Abbi became familiar with the principles of Design Thinking and participating in multiple cycles of concept review and refinement. Abbi also got experience in using power tools in making modifications to the CNC mill as well as other projects.
Lastly, Abbi gained experience in working with Arduino programs, an experience that whetted her appetite to learn more about microcontrollers and programming. After C-TAP, Abbi embarked on a trip to Brazil as part of her ROTC program at Boise State.
Ashley was a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering when she joined C-TAP. Ashley was asked to mount and wire the components of the flame sensor system as well as take over the 3D printing work for C-TAP projects. She was then tasked with improvements in the process used by Usful Glass to saw their bottles in preparation of making drinking glasses. Ashley began this work by carefully watching the production process and learning about the science of cutting glass. She then identified several key areas for improvements that included a new saw blade choice, more robust bottle fixturing and more targeted water delivery to the blade. She then retrofitted an unused saw with these improvements and demonstrated the benefits to Usful Glass. Her refinements reduced the loss due to breakage in the saw operation as well as reduced the amount of work needed in subsequent polishing operations due to the smoother cut afforded by her improvements. After C-TAP, Ashley studied abroad in Sheffield, England for her junior year.
Jeff was an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering when C-TAP hired him to create some mechanical parts and assemblies in Solid Works to solve a client need as well as allow Jeff a chance to gain more experience in mechanical CAD work. After that, Jeff had the responsibility of assisting in the design of a flame detection system for a local non-profit, Usful Glass. This work included instrumenting a system with thermocouples and and writing the program for a PLC that would read the output of the temperature controllers and produce an output to solenoid valves that controlled gas flow. In addition, Jeff oversaw the mechanical and electrical documentation of the entire flame sense system.
Nicholas, a computer science major, was hired to assemble a searchable database to assist users in finding instrumentation and research interests on the Boise State campus. Nicholas collected data for research labs in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences and refined the data to make it consistent and understandable by the user. Based on Nicholas’ work, C-TAP has received many inquiries for access to equipment by visitors to our website.
Griff was midway through his undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering when he joined C-TAP. As a designer, Griff expanded his understanding of SolidWorks CAD software and gained experience in programming Arduino’s for one client’s testbed. Griff also gained expertise using C-TAP’s 3-D printer and was participated in community outreach events showing how 3D printed parts were made. Griff’s ability to work on a project from start to finish proved invaluable to clients as well as providing him solid real-world experience. While working for C-TAP, Griff learned metal shop skills that would allow him to fabricate parts and assemblies; that experience would eventually take him to his next position as the Student Shop supervisor in the College of Engineering.