Lendon Simpson (BE EE 2006)
Professors often get asked by students about the practical uses of all of the material they are learning, some of which seems too “theoretical” to be useful. Lendon Simpson, BEE class of 2006, found that what he learned at Stony Brook provided the foundation of a successful career.
Lendon has worked in the defense, aerospace and automotive industries. In all of this he has done various design work with Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and embedded software. FPGAs are integrated circuits that are like blank slates, they can be programmed to be as simple as a logic gate or as complex as a computer processor. They can be programed multiple times and in the field if necessary. Embedded systems are miniature computers embedded in anything from a vending machine to a car engine. They are controlled by embedded software.
Lendon decided to pursue electrical engineering because he enjoyed mathematics and physics. In addition, he was fascinated that as an engineer, he would be able to create things that can be useful to people. At Stony Brook Lendon acquired a diverse set of skills that allowed him to quickly grasp new concepts stemming from concepts that he learned while as an undergraduate student. His first FPGA assignment was to modify a correlator in a digital communication channel. Since he took digital communication systems at Stony Brook, taught by Prof. Monica Bugallo, he was able to understand what needed to be done.
Lendon’s most positive experience came from being in the labs and having experienced lab technicians. Anthony Olivo was extremely patient and helpful in every way. Lendon recalls his thoughtful guidance in the design of the class’ Fiber Optic communication channel final project design for ESE 363 where Prof. Harbans Dhadwal is the instructor.
The classes Lendon enjoyed the most at Stony Brook University were ESE 380 and ESE 382, Embedded Systems and VHDL for engineers, taught by Prof. Ken Short with labs run by Scott Tierno. These two classes were his favorite because of the labs that were taught during the semester. In ESE 380, Lendon and his lab partner designed an Electrostatic Sonar Transducer as their final project and in ESE 382, they designed an RF transmitter and receiver. These labs allowed Lendon to focus on what he wanted to do when he graduated from Stony Brook University.
Asked about advice for current students, Lendon says that students should be able to program in at least C or C++. He also highly recommends a class in linux and suggests that students take full advantage of academic counseling.
Lendon agrees that his Stony Brook education provided him with the tools and a solid foundation for success in his career. And the ECE Dept is very proud of his accomplishments.