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BYU Mars Rover


Daniel Hearn (left) and his teammate (right) working on the rover


"Being a part of the team has taught me how to apply the theory I learn in classes, and integrate different disciplines. Having an application in mind, I work harder in class, because I know it is relevant to things I want to do. It has also shown me what skills I need more of to be a great engineer, instead of just a good one."

-Ezekiel Merriam, Team Leader (2010-2011)

"Working on the BYU Mars Rover Team gave me confidence in interviews for internships. In one interview, I was grateful for the ability to explain a technical process I developed on the Rover's arduino micro-controllers. The experience also helped me build other real world skills, such as how to take the initiative, and how to learn and work independently, and on a team."

-Sean Thomas, Electrical Engineering Major

"My skills from working on the Mars Rover Project greatly helped me enhance my resume, obtain a wonderful job, and excel in my career. Now, I work at the Department of Energy (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a site for experimental nuclear reactors. My current job is to decommission an old reactor. Because of extremely high radiation levels, we cut and remove all the old components remotely, using robots similar to the Mars Rover."

-David Tollman, BYU Alumni (Spring 2009)

"While working on the Mars Rover Project, I learned efficiency in troubleshooting, and how to integrate various hardware and software configurations. I am confident in interviews when describing my skills with sensors, wiring, programing, and working to build robotic interfaces. My experience optimizing for cost, weight and functionality on a robot really stands out in an interview. Last summer I obtained an internship working with distance sensors, micro-controllers and automation in Mesa, Arizona, because of my experience with this project."

-Peter Hyatt, "Controls" Group Leader (2010-2011)

"Though I have been on the Mars Rover Team only a short while, I have learned valuable leadership roles which I feel will help me as a professional engineer. We plan and work as a team to realize our goals and meet deadlines. The experience on the Mars Rover Team parallels the buisiness world and is preparing me to enter the workforce as an engineer.

-Daniel Hearn, "Power" Group Leader (2010-2011)

"The Mars Rover Project did more to improve my engineering design (mechanical, electrical, software, etc) skills than anything else at BYU. Being able to take ideas through concept, design, procurement, manufacturing, testing, and redesign is a very valuable experience. Additionally, in my case there was also a pretty big engineering leadership component (managing budgets, writing funding proposals, leading engineering discussion, making assignments etc). To this day I'm still applying practical lessons I learned while working on the rover. "It's hard to quantify the impact something like this has on your graduate school application, but from talking to my adviser it definitely made me stand out. From his point of view my experience with the rover project was the most impressive aspect of my application. I'm pretty sure that it's the reason that I secured the Schmitt Presidential Fellowship, one of the most well funded and prestigious fellowships in science and engineering at Notre Dame. I'm now in my second year of my PhD, studying bipedal robots with the goal of generating stable and efficient walking/running gaits. We're also working with some guys at GM on hybrid vehicle research. I suspect this will be a foundation for a solid career in humanoid robotics down the line."

-Travis Brown, Former team member

"The Mars Rover Project has provided me with opportunities to work and solve problems as a team. My team members are fantastic friends and awesome to work with. Participating in a team oriented environment teaches me to develop communication skills, which is essential for real world application. I am also receiving hands on help from my Team Leader. All this enables me to apply what I have learned from previous internships and jobs. I get the chance to build and invent innovative products for a specific purpose, all of which will also occur in engineering employment in my future career. "We're building a fantastic rover that will represent Brigham Young University at the competitions. I'm excited to see the results of a BYU Team and their hard work all put together to create a finished product."

-Darren Herbst

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