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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Cool. Fuel.

Recorder vs. Reporter

A ritual hazing practice in many organizations (including department meetings) is to ask the newest person in the room to “take the minutes”, “secretary” is too loaded of a term now, so we call them a recorder:



12 years ago I thought I was novel for typing meeting minutes in an e-mail window in real time and sending to the team at the close of the meeting. After awhile though I realized that nobody went back and read the minutes. Thank goodness they didn’t! My recording was sloppy relative to the free audio recorder apps on most cellphones nowadays.

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Leader vs. Liaison

It’s always gone without saying that the first step in team formation is to identify a leader. That’s why the team member roles we defined in ME 316 last Wednesday caught many off guard. We defined roles of Builder, Compliance, Reporter, Theory, and Liaison for each team. Note no “Leader.”

Some of you that know my background are immediately saying, “But Jake, you’re being a hypocrite, you led almost every team you’ve been on since elementary school.” While that’s mostly true, and I’ve won with more teams than not, for some reason, I stopped seeking leadership positions after high school. Why I stopped when I … » More …

ME 316 Lesson 2: Conway’s Law and the Design Process

Nature began designing systems long before our time. You’re likely already a natural at design and you might not be aware of it. Let’s take a quick class survey on associating information flows (see link to Google Form in Slack 316 private group).

How we store, share, and process information has a huge effect on the designs we produce. In 1968 Mel Conway published a paper titled, “How Committees Invent.” This document is generally considered the origin of what is now called Conway’s Law:

Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations. ~Mel … » More …

ME 316 Lesson 1: Intro to Systems Design

Your TA Eli Shoemake, Patrick Adam, and Ian Richardson contributed to the winning design for the 2014 International Hydrogen Student Design Competition. The teams design, to pressurize hydrogen via a method we call Cryogenic Thermal Compression (CTC), is totally novel, allowing fueling stations to cost less than 1/4 of those currently under construction.

In the 1.5 years since winning the competition, we have built a network of contacts in industry willing to advise and sponsor the build of our fueling station, which we hope will be the first hydrogen fueling station in the Northwest. The timing is fortuitous to coincide with the Department of Energy’s … » More …