Mike Randle

"Electrical Engineering blends the beauty of theory with the practicality of an Engineering degree. We learn enough in our classes to get us started, and are given the tools necessary to pursue a greater understanding if we so desire."

 

 


Hometown:
 Buffalo, New York

Level of Study:  BS, Class of 2017.

Why did you choose to study electrical engineering?

For two main reasons:

1) My father studied Electrical Engineering in college and through various conversations over the years has instilled me an interest in science. More fundamentally, he has imparted on me his natural curiosity which is certainly my main drive in life.

2) I had a fantastic Physics teacher in high school who was passionate about his class and always provided intuitive demos and creative projects to feed one’s understanding of the material. His final project was open; we were allowed to pick a subject and design an experiment around it. My group chose an induction ring launcher which utilized the magnetic field produced by a ferromagnet and AC to suspend an aluminum ring in mid-air. I’ve been crazy about anything to do with electronics ever since.

What do you like best about electrical engineering?

It blends the beauty of theory with the practicality of an Engineering degree. We learn enough in our classes to get us started, and are given the tools necessary to pursue a greater understanding if we so desire.

What research are you working on as an EE Undergraduate Scholar?

I have been provided unprecedented opportunity to become familiar with various machinery in the Davis Cleanroom and Materials Characterization Lab. Additionally, I have been able to research many of the interesting properties of 2D materials. In the cleanroom, I have learned the processes leading to the development of an operational transistor, starting with a small piece of Silicon cut from a wafer. In the Materials Characterization Lab, I have learned that a fascinating process, the inelastic scattering of light, can be used to correctly differentiate between not only different materials, but in many cases the dimensionality and layering of them. It also helps immensely that everyone in the lab I am part of is willing to pass on their knowledge and teach me. I would be lost without them.

What makes UB Electrical Engineering special?

The engineering department, in general, is very good at communicating with its students. They provide several resources that make usually stressful things such as class enrollment fool proof. The ‘Engineering Flowchart’ is a commonly referenced resource for me that is invaluable. Furthermore, the EE track and flexibility of technical electives makes it feasible to work towards a minor in either Physics or Mathematics.

A favorite memory of your experiences thus far?

The craziness of the EE 352 and 353 labs were always memorable. Tweaking amplifier circuits for hours always led to hilarious banter amongst me, my friends, and the TAs. From experience, I can tell you that the best way to get a good score on the lab practical is double check everything. I have attached my DC power source to ground by accident many a time. In the words of a certain professor, as he detaches the faulty wire with a disappointed expression, “Would you try to drive your car without the wheels?”

What are your career plans?

I plan to pursue a Phd in the Electrical Engineering department and thereby continue to perform research in areas of study that I love. It has been very rewarding and stimulating thus far, and I will be happy if I can continue to learn and discover new things as a career, either in industry or at University. If the opportunity presented itself, I would like my career to take me to different places around the world. I feel such exposure would only add to my understanding and experience.