Today I spent a few hours in the morning working in the machine shop. I needed to mount some connectors in an aluminum box so I can wire up some electronics inside of it. My machining skills aren’t great, and it’s been a while since I’ve done any drilling and such, but with the help of one of the post docs we got the required holes drilled. This afternoon I may solder some of the wiring.

While no expert at power tools or heavy machinery, I am proud to be a female who at least knows her way around this kind of stuff. I hope my husband is also proud to have such a well-rounded wife, too. 🙂 I help my husband with his woodworking projects and do my own lightweight projects around the house. Maybe I am a little scared of power tools, but that just means I respect them, use them safely, and shouldn’t require a trip to the ER.

I am also no electrical expert, and my soldering skills are poor. But I can usually get two wires to stick together with electrical contact, whether or not it’s beautiful or professional. Heat shrink is my friend! I am also no good at electronics in general. Keeping track of ground and which wires are at what voltage has just never been my strength. Now I find that the majority of my work in the lab is actually electronics. Some I am still perplexed by, but I am able to hold my own on the basics now. Sometimes I really think I should have been an electrical engineer…actually, no; I don’t want to be an electrical engineer, I just see how that knowledge would be useful with my research.

So, graduation progress for the day…I’m making an electronic connector box so we can hook up a photodetector and finish setting up my new laser system. Then I’ll get to take all kinds of data I can write about in my thesis! One step at a time…