Name: Matthew Vera
Greetings Engineering Enthusiasts, USC AUV presents AUV Interviews. Our first interview will be with the President of the team, Matthew Vera.
Question: Introduce yourself and how long have you been associated with the team?
Answer: My name is Matthew Vera. I am the President of the AUV Design Team and Junior Mechanical Engineer. This is my second year with the team. During my sophomore year, I was the Mechanical Engineering Team member and I did a couple of projects through that. And this is my second year with the team, as the President.
Question: How did you get acquainted with the team?
Answer: I joined the team because I was looking for something related to robotics and this was one of the only two or three design teams directly related to it. The time when I joined the team, it was a small team and it was giving opportunity to sophomores to actually do work and make things. Even though we are growing, we have a good deal of work to come with continuing to finish projects.
Question: What inspires you?
Answers: I think the people who are passionate in their work inspire me. Especially in this industry, people shouldn’t do things because they are forced to, but they should do it because they are interested in it and engage in finding things they can go to and be engaged while they are there. That inspires me specifically with my work on this team.
Question: What are your goals for the team?
Answer: The overarching goal is to have our sub be successful and go to the competition and perform well and show that we are a competitive team. On lower level, I want everyone to be engaged and learn a lot and find a way to fun with it. There a ton of teams that are intense and crazy and puts like tons of time into it and doesn’t gain much. I want the team members to have an opportunity to do something different.
Question: Can you give an overview on how the sub that the team is manufacturing right now is different for the last sub?
Answer: I was not on the team when the last sub was manufactured. I don’t think any of the present members was on the team when it was manufactured. It was much more of a basic version like a safe sub. It had a horizontal cylinder with all the electronics. It was like wrapped in frame and mounted the pieces there. It had water problems with it. A lot of teams have these, and they try to make the design so that these problems can be tackled but it was very hard to access the things on the inside, you kind of have to take the entire thing apart in order to get there. So, our main goal was to have a very compact sub that is not too expensive, that’s also very easy to access the internals and very modular so that we can kind of change things as we went on. So, our current sub has much smaller cylinder as the whole and so the electronics on the inside are very compact and it has the dome on top so that we can still have the camera on the inside without having to create new camera pods on the outside and still enough space to attach everything.
Question: Can you recall a memorable incident with the team?
Answer: There are a couple of things. The social events are usually very fun, we had movie nights in the past. It’s just cool to see everybody working hard and what we do, it’s like we come down here and everybody engages in work with also lot of fun. Sometimes, it’s also like just come down here and be social, be friends and might not be worried about all the technical stuff. Same thing with the tests. The most fun memory is like when we first got our wet connectors for this current sub, we were so excited that we couldn’t wait to have the wet test. We installed them, went to the Engineering Quad and tested it in the Fountain to see if its water proof. We all are very proud of our work.
Question: What message would you like to give to the future members of the team?
Answer: I just want to say that have fun with the work, because it is always intense and don’t take things more seriously that you should. Just enjoy the work that you do here.