Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—With a grant from WAESO through the National Science Foundation, three engineering technology majors at Eastern New Mexico University have completed a sun-tracking circuit designed to get maximum solar power.
Under the supervision of Dr. Hamid Allamehzadeh, associate professor of technology at Eastern, the students, Alejandro Vaca, Veera Charoensukvipad and Juan Orozco, designed and tested the project and will write a report to send to the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO) that oversees such projects.
"The device has a solar panel and is designed to track the sun when it gives its maximum power during the day," Vaca said. "It was designed as a model for power source to run a house."
Allamehzadeh said that every semester he receives one or two grants from WAESO in order for students to construct a different project. He personally chooses students he knows are capable of completing such a hands-on task, with consideration also for how time-consuming the projects are. The $3,000 grant helps cover supplies, and once the project is completed, each student receives $1,000.
In addition to helping students financially, Allamehzadeh said the project also helps students academically and career-wise. "The projects help students to get experience. They do the actual work and design, they implement the project and test it," Allamehzadeh said. "Some of these students will go to graduate school and this gives them motivation. Also, when employers call me for job references, the first they will ask me is what the student's role was on the project."