IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - A handful of BYU-I students have a bright future ahead of them. The senior class has teamed up with the Idaho National Laboratory to develop a new Active Measurement Cancellation Test Bed (a battery tester).
Just a few years ago, test engineer David Jamison was approached by a colleague with a suggestion that led to a novel experience.
"He said what we need is a way to measure impedance in circuit while something is under task or underway," said Jamison.
Which meant a new testing bed that could be used to test a bad car battery while the car was still running. But to do this, Jamison needed a fresh perspective, so he posted an internship opportunity online; that's when a few calls and time delivered a solution.
"I had a professor call me up and ask what I was doing, so I sent him some information back and from that he said, 'That sounds very interesting, how would you like to take on a whole senior design class?'" said Jamison.
This class included eight eager college students who were about to take school projects to the next level. This is something that the INL's Technology Deployment director, Steve McMaster, sees as an opportunity to include the whole community.
"So this is a good example of how the researchers and engineers, at the laboratory, can interact in the community and take innovative, new designs and projects forward. That way they can have impact and accomplish things, and solve problems that we're trying to solve," said McMaster.
This concept is exactly the role the students played in the new testing project.
"They did a fantastic job, they overcame problem after problem all the way along the line of putting this together," said Jamison.
The project was pretty much top secret, so students had to sign a nondisclosure agreement until the patent was was finalized this past Monday. This is the first time the lab has worked with a whole senior class, which could be the beginning of new relationships for a lot of colleges in Idaho.