CalPlug Year Book

Linyi Xia | CalPlug199 2014 | UCLA Electrical Engineering & Calit 2 Junior Specialist

Linyi XiaThe experience at CalPlug is very unique. For my 10 months at CalPlug as a undergrad student, I was mainly on 5w5s phase II and MaxTech competition team. From the technical side, I get to work with post-doc, PhDs and masters students, together with undergrads who are just like me. I was able to obtain advices from those who are more knowledgeable and work hands-on with those who have more experiences. I also learned the attitude of precision throughout the design and building process. Once I become a little more experienced in the process, I was able to help more during the MaxTech competition. On the other hand, my time at CalPlug really shaped me as a team player. We all accommodated each other and assisted each other, as well as learned from each other. We appreciated each other’s expertise and built an even stronger skill set on top of it.

Carlotta Pham | CalPlug199 2014 | Deloitte Consulting LLP

Carlotta PhamWorking at CalPlug has been a special opportunity because I gained experience that will help me with future project endeavors. I had a chance to work alongside such talented students to achieve a collective goal. Prior to this project, I had not had experience working in an environment with a lot of autonomy. The competition granted our team the freedom to define our own scope and vision. We were challenged to consider how we could make an impact with energy savings. As a team lead, I stepped up into a role that was very new to me but it helped build my project management skills and was a growing experience. My favorite part of working at CalPlug was developing friendships with my teammates. It was also a special experience to work at CalPlug because of my passion for sustainability. Working on creative designs and solutions that can make the world a better place excites me. Overall, this experience is one that I will carry with me as I move forward in my career.

Zachary Davis | CalPlug199 2013 | UCLA Electrical Engineering

zacharyI was privileged to be a part of CalPlug for two years. In Fall 2011, I started as a student researcher on the Set-Top-Box team, working on projects related to STB efficiency. In Spring 2012, I became the team leader of the Set-Top-Box team, overseeing about 3 projects with 4-10 team members. I continued until my graduation in Spring 2013. CalPlug was perhaps the best preparation I had during my undergraduate years for my engineering career. Both the technical training and communication skills I learned at CalPlug have been indispensable. The technical skills I learned included embedded system, micro-controller programming, system design, PCB design, and PCB manufacturing. Other engineering topics I learned include making purchase orders, shopping for parts, and working on large technical projects as a team. Perhaps the communication skills I learned were even more important. Communicating with team members, giving presentations, and divvying up work are little things that have benefitted my engineering career most. When I became team leader, I had to learn how to make sure everyone knew what their assignments were and how make the team work together best. The experience has given me a sense of what it takes to be a leader.

Nicholas Ma | CalPlug199 2013 | Denso Wireless Systems America

Nicholas_MaFor me, CalPlug was one of the greatest memories from my college experience. Leading the instrumentation team, working on multiple projects and collaborating with other CalPlug members has brought me many accomplishments and joy. For me, displaying the Wall of Power at the Emerging Technology Summit (ETS) as well as ICCE 2013 in Las Vegas was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to demonstrate CalPlug’s energy monitoring system. Furthermore, with the sponsorship of CalPlug, our senior design team integrated the Patient Connect Project into a mobile base system. The Patient Connect senior design project received the winter design Dean’s choice award as well as Ingenuity 2013 award. At CalPlug, I was able to learn the responsibility of dealing with professional companies such as TrickleStar, and create CalPlug’s SIM Lab. Most of all, these experiences have helped me build skills and experiences for future industries. I have no regrets participating in research for CalPlug from spring 2012 to summer 2013.

Djamil Rummun | CalPlug199 2013 | Student from France

djamilWhen I heard about CalPlug, I immediately sent in my application to join the team. As an international student from France, I found this research program very interesting, useful and challenging because I was highly motivated to have some practical exposure to field work. I joined the hardware team and worked on a sleep controller device that controls the power to set-top boxes, which completely cuts off the power to the set-top box when necessary to increase energy efficiency. I was responsible for these hardware aspects: designing the schematic and printed circuit board, generating the Gerber files for the manufacturer, updating the bill of materials, and populating and testing the board in CalPlug’s lab. The 1KWhr Challenge and the Wall of Power demonstrations at CalPlug helped me improve and reinforce my knowledge of leading-edge engineering principals, tools and practices. Unfortunately, I had to leave CalPlug to continue my internship in France but I strongly believe that my time as a research assistant at CalPlug offered me an array of experiences. In a nutshell, CalPlug provides an excellent working environment, facilities, and equipment instruments. This program will not only give you the opportunity to apply your academic skills, but also the ability to give presentations about your research to industry professionals and experts.

Jennifer Tsau | CalPlug199 2012 | Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

jennifertsauI was fortunate to be one of the students in Calplug’s first group, from September 2011 until March 2012. I led four members on the Set Top Box (STB) team to work towards the long term goal of making the STBs more energy efficient. CalPlug was an experience where I not only learned technical skill sets, but also interpersonal and managerial type skills. For example, I learned how to conduct research in a methodical manner, attended a STB workshop where industry experts from around the country presented, and learned profound details of the energy industry. I also learned how to give an effective presentation and how to lead a team. All that I have learned from CalPlug will contribute to what I do in the future, whether it is graduate school or working in industry. I have not completely decided what I will do after I graduate, but because of my time at CalPlug I am interested in pursuing a career in the clean-tech field. Some of the greatest advantages about working at CalPlug are the state of the art equipment and instruments they allow students to use as well as the potential for networking with important key industry players. The fact that students are given a lot of autonomy and responsibility to carry out the tasks with the support and guidance of the directors is priceless.

Kourosh Adlparvar | CalPlug199 2012 | UC Berkeley

koroushWhile at CalPlug I was the demonstration and education team leader. I coordinated and facilitated events to raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency by teaching students about energy consumption of home appliances and consumer electronic devices, such as the “1KWhr Challenge” and the “Wall of Power”. I really enjoyed the freedom of managing the projects and the experience of working in teams to turn visions into reality. The creativity and innovation I’ve encountered at CalPlug has allowed me to apply the knowledge I learned in my classes to real world applications. Calplug has helped me to develop other crucial skills such as strategic planning, presenting, marketing, and networking. I’ve learned more about the business aspects of energy efficiency in terms of who the major companies and representatives are as well as the government regulations for energy efficiency. My experiences at CalPlug have helped me to pursue a career in the field of business management related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Hang Cheng | CalPlug299 2012 | Juniper Networks

hangchengWhen I got an opportunity to join the Energy Management System Team, I thought CalPlug was purely a research lab like others at my university. Instead, CalPlug turned out to be such a flexible platform for both graduate and undergraduate students that provides excellent facilities and a professional working environment. CalPlug built a close connection between university research and commercial application in real industries. I really enjoy the exciting projects involving different areas from Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and even Sociology. Not only have I gained technical knowledge, but also communication skills which are among precious experiences needed to further my career. Another great aspect of Calplug is that the work I deliver will be used in real products, and can even impact the industry.

Young Min Kim | CalPlug199 2012 | Broadcom Corporation

youngminkimHome Energy Management team at CalPlug focuses on a long term objective of creating an automated load-recognition home energy management solution by using load signatures. As a member of this team, I was primarily responsible for collecting and analyzing data of plug load devices in order to obtain the devices’ load signatures. I had been a part of CalPlug for about a year, and it truly has been a great experience that has given invaluable insight and opportunities. At CalPlug, I was able to practice the materials that I had learned in my previous engineering courses and put them to practice. In addition, CalPlug offers a great research environment. I was introduced with various testing equipment and programs that I had not encountered in my courses. It was a great chance to learn about these tools which will definitely help me in the future. Not only was I able to develop technical skills that would help me in my future career, but also speaking and presentation skills. One aspect I find unique at CalPlug is that students are given the opportunity to present and give demonstrations about their research to professionals working in government and well-known companies. Overall, my experiences here at CalPlug has been wonderful and it will significantly help me in my future studies.

Abraham Lin | CalPlug199 2011 | UCLA Electrical Engineering

abrahamlinI was in the first group of students that were a part of CalPlug. I was part of the instrumentation team. The main focus of our group was to take care of all the testing and collection of data related to set-top boxes. My role within the group was not only to collect data, but to also help set forth guidelines and procedures for the data collection. For me, CalPlug was a great experience because this was the first research lab I worked in. I learned from our advisors how a professional laboratory operated. I learned to be methodical in the research process and detailed in my documentation. I learned to present information in a concise way to leading energy industry professionals during a set-top box workshop. My experience at CalPlug helped me to transition into my internship at the Broadcom Corporation. The professionalism and conduct I had learned from CalPlug helped me to assimilate into the culture of the workplace. My time at CalPlug is indispensable because of all that I have learned from carrying out the research process to interacting and improving my team building skills. All the experiences gained in my time at CalPlug are priceless.