For our next SFU undergraduate researcher profile, we have Nathan Batke who is performing research in the School of Engineering Science!
Name: Nathan Batke
Faculty: Applied Sciences
Year of Study: 2nd
Supervisor: Andrea Ferrone
Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: I’m currently in the Engineering program, and last semester I was seeking my first Co-op job. Long story short, I applied to many positions and accepted this Research Co-op job that I am currently doing for SFU at Menrva Lab.
Q: What have you been working on in your research so far?
My position involves the Testing and Characterization of Smart Sensors. Basically, I am testing and documenting the various properties of these specific Smart Sensors. Also, I have been working on the lab’s “Linear Stage” system. This system can be seen in the picture, and is used for testing the Smart Sensors.
Q: What’s your favourite course that you have taken so far in your degree?
I would have to say Engineering Science 120 (Introduction to Laboratory Instruments) because it was one of the easiest courses that I have taken in the Engineering program so far – which meant I was able to get a really good mark. But also because the work was almost all hands-on circuitry. The focus was not really on learning theories, equations, and formulas – which was awesome. Also, regarding a different course, I thoroughly enjoyed the ENSC 252 Lab part of the class, even though it was quite frustrating at times.
Q: What is a typical “day in the life” in the lab for you?
For a typical day in the lab, I will mostly be working on the computer. I will do a good amount of programming in Arduino IDE, and also modifying our LabVIEW program so that the system we use is improved. Also, if requested by my supervisor, I would perform the required tests on a specific amount of Smart Sensors, and then document my work. And of course, I would be collaborating with my fellow co-workers and asking them for help if needed.
Q: What scares you the most in the lab or the field?
What scares me the most is the possibility of making a mistake when using circuitry or some type of electrical system. For example, the moment when you connect a power source to your circuit or system, and you get a spark or smoke… that’s no fun. Especially when something burns out and stops working.