Problem Solver

Eric Poulson

In my 12+ years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer in the robotic vehicle and aerospace industries, I have learned to apply creative problem solving skills to many unique design challenges. My communication skills helped me to lead small teams of engineers and to bring out the best in my teammates. I am known for “out of the box” thinking as well as practical design solutions with limited resources.

Areas Eric Poulson is Knowledgeable in:

Robotic vehicle design
Mechanism design
Electromechanical system design
Energy efficient building
Concrete structural design

Techniques Eric Poulson Uses:

Research past relevant solutions
Brainstorm new ideas with team members others
Test ideas using analysis, simulation, and physical tests as appropriate
Refine design to minimize cost
Failure modes and effects analysis
Fault Tree Analysis

Eric Poulson's Problem Solving Skills:

  1. Prototype manufacturing
  2. Programming (C, Fortran, Basic)
  3. Electromechanical system design (Robotics, Mechatronics)
  4. Battery system design
  5. Mechanism design
  6. Electric motor system design (Brushed, Brushless, Stepper)
  7. Control system design
  8. Vehicle dynamics
  9. Mechanical Computer Aided Design (CAD - Solidworks, Pro/Engineer, etc)
  10. Space Dynamics

Eric Poulson's Problem Solving Experience:

  1. Designed an emergency control isolation device to decouple pilot and copilot controls in a commercial aircraft.
  2. Design of an ATV-sized robotic vehicle. One of several engineers on the team.
    Some of my contributions:
    1. Designed suspension system including passive leveling mechanism and spring elements.
    2. High level design of series hybrid power system using off the shelf generator and battery components
    3. Design of electric drive system including frameless brushless motors
    4. Design of the vehicle frame using finite element analysis
    5. Machine components of the vehicle
    6. Coordinate fabrication of a working vehicle
  3. Design of a system to autonomously adjust the reel to bedknife gap of a turf mower. One of several engineers on the team.
    Some of my contributions:
    1. Project manager
    2. Design algorithm to move the reel while monitoring sound to determine the gap.
    3. Design of a rugged stepper motor based linear actuator.
    4. Coordinate with manufacturer to bring actuator to production.
    5. Work with patent attorney to apply for several patents (subsequently awarded)
  4. Structural design of a partly underground passively solar heated house. The design includes extensive reuse of dismantled grain bins for both structural and architectural value.
  5. Design of a man portable extreme mobility robot. One of several engineers on the team.
    Some of my contributions:
    1. Design of drive system combining rolling, walking, and track type motion
    2. Design of tightly integrated drive modules including frameless brushless motors, planetary gear sets, and motor drive electronics.
    3. High level design of battery power system.
    4. Machine components of the vehicle.
    5. Coordinate fabrication of several working vehicles.
  6. Design of an ergonomic hand held operator control unit for teleoperation of robotic vehicles. My contributions included:
    1. Mechanical design to fit a specified processing unit, joysticks, buttons, and batteries.
    2. Testing with a variety of subjects for hand fit and refinement of the design.
    3. fabricate a functional prototype.
  7. Designed and built numerous systems for conversion of existing vehicles to autonomous operation. These include agricultural tractors, military vehicles, and consumer vehicles.
    My contributions included motor selection, mechanism design, vehicle dynamics analysis and modeling, fabrication, etc
  8. With a partner, Designed and built a grain separating device using air flow and grain inertia to remove chaff and transport grain for further processing. Built functioning device using low cost materials.
  9. Designed and brought to production flight system training devices. These include accurate physical simulations of cockpit panels in Boeing 737 and 757, Airbus A340, and Fokker F100 aircraft.
    My contributions included selection of low cost off the shelf components which closely mimic the ones used in aircraft, and mechanical design of cockpit panel assemblies.
  10. Designed and built a small 6 wheeled all terrain robot. Conducted research on a distributed control system architecture using processors in all six wheels. Designed and built a passive leveling suspension mechanism.