Hello all! My name is Max Kirkpatrick and I am a mechanical engineering major from the University of South Carolina. I am 21 years old and heading into my senior year at USC (not to be confused with the one in southern California). I’ve been involved in robotics since elementary school, starting with Lego robots. I participated in FIRST robotics programs through high school and grew to love building and programming robotic systems. At USC I have conducted research in robotics and applications in 3D printing at the McNair Aerospace Center. My focus has been on the development of a 6 DOF system for 3D printing of carbon fiber composites. Additionally I have conducted research in 3D printing of piezoelectric polymers, and this research was presented at the IEEE Sensors conference in Orlando, FL.
I applied for this REU program as a means to broaden my horizons in the research world. I have worked for the same lab for the last 2 years and was curious to see how other labs approach research problems. This program offers me a chance to explore a slightly different research area and perhaps see where my interests in the field of robotics lay. Additionally I was hoping that this experience would help me decide how interested I am in graduate school, and whether a PhD or a masters is more suited to me.
I’m looking forward to a productive summer working alongside fellow researchers here at UW Stout.