Engineers for Exploration Featured in the UCSD Guardian

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The Engineers for Exploration program has been featured in the UCSD Guardian! Below is an excerpt of the article published. For the entire article, please follow the link here.

The UCSD National Geographic Society Engineers for Exploration program, founded by research scientist Albert Yu-Min Lin, is promoting scientific discovery through real-world engineering.

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28 May 2013

Within the walls of UCSD’s Atkinson Hall, in a design prototyping lab on the first floor, various teams of five to 10 students can be found developing new technologies that may one day end up on the pages of National Geographic. This possibility is within reach for the students — and has been achieved in the past — through the UCSD National Geographic Society Engineers for Exploration program, a platform that allows students to engage in real-world engineering projects for scientific exploration. The program was founded in 2009 by UCSD research scientist Albert Yu-Min Lin, who now serves as a co-director alongside UCSD engineering professors Ryan Kastner and Curt Schurgers.

Multiple projects, which range from robotic cameras that track the movement of animals to remote-control airplanes that mimic and guide the flight of condors, are currently underway. Roughly 30 active participants — all of them students — have taken the reins of these projects. According to Kastner, some devote as many as 20 to 30 hours a week to their projects, most of which are designed to monitor animals within their natural habitats.

“The interesting thing is that the students don’t get paid for this,” Lin said. “Some of them get credit for it, but it isn’t like they’re doing this as a requirement. It’s entirely our out of passion. It’s entirely out of the ambition to try to do something bigger — to change the expectations of what you can do with a degree in engineering.”

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