After graduating from college, I worked full time at CaptaHydro - a company in Chile working to connect rural farmers to affordable electricity and water management systems.
I oversaw the design of the next generation water level control devices which required creating system level specifications and features, mechanical design (powertrain, housing, and user mechanisms) of the devices, part sourcing, and manufacturing.
Most gates that control the flow of water to different farms in Chile (and around the world) are currrently simple screw mechanisms that require people to manually adjust the amount of water allowed through the gates by turning the control wheel. Not only is this difficult for farmers to do, it also leads to inaccurate water level management. As water continues to become a more critical resource around the globe, Captahydro is creating products that help conserve this important natural resource.
While I was there, I led the development of the automatic water control devices at Captahydro. I developed a strategy that allowed us to automatically size different water gates for any application, ran physical feasibility studies, predicted performance and cost, and soured the major components required for the series of products.
By the end of my time at Captahydro, I had completed the final design, analysis and DFM for the 3 standard models of watergates currently being built across Chile.
My other main project at Captahydro was an evolution of their current hydroelectric turbine design. I recreated the structure to make it cheaper, lighter, and faster to set-up in the field. This redesign was driven by our market research where we discovered security and fast installation were often more important than performance.