This page is now significantly out of date. I graduated at the end of 2015 and have moved on from the activities described. It will be updated at some point when I get around to writing new content.
I'm Chris Elwood, an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. My main interests are a mix of electrical engineering and software. If I'm not working on one of those two, I'm probably out mountain biking or listening to music. I have been programming almost as long as I can remember... some of my earliest experiments programming in Logo and building webpages with HTML go back to when I was in elementary school, on a Windows 95 computer! My interest in electronics goes back just as far. My parents say that even as a small child I was interested in anything electrical and taking things apart. Over time, my projects have developed from hooking batteries and lightbulbs together as a kid all the way to to what you see on this site.
During the school year I work at the Engine Research Center here at UW. There I write LabVIEW code for experimental projects and help with miscellaneous lab work.
I am also responsible for the controls and electrical system on the SAE Clean Snowmobile Team here. (and the website) This is really my primary activity other than school work. From the beginning of school in September until our competition in March I spend much of my free time in the shop. Projects here include designing and building wiring harnesses, helping with the development and calibration of our ECU code, control and measurement setup for our dyno, and various other things. Last year we even built our own battery welder from scractch to assemble a battery pack for our (now temporarily on hold) electric snowmobile. I will probably write up detailed posts on some of this in the future, as many of my most interesting projects have been here.
Finally, I help out with maintaining the Maquina Fountain on our engineering campus. Although it may not look that complex from the surface, it takes a surprising amount of work to keep it running smoothly. A rather questionable design to start with plus over 20 years of aging certainly results in some interesting problems.