Greg Linder: Multidisciplinary Engineer and Inventor

Here a summary of some of the projects on which I have worked. My skillset ranges widely, and covers topics related to mechanical design, solar energy, electrical engineering, Information Technology, circuit board layout and schematic design, and any other skill I can get time to work out or develop. The more engineering I learn, the more it amazes me how similar things are: for example, heat transfer equations have a striking conceptual similarity to electrical voltage and resistance equations, allowing my brain to apply the same sort of concepts to both disciplines, even though I was originally trained in Electrical Engineering.

I pride myself on being an intuitive engineer, with powerful skills in mental visualization. I deeply enjoy having others explain something that does not seem right, and then talking through various issues and solutions to come around to a new solution to the problem.

Feel free to reach out via email if you need to chat with a wide scoping engineer.


Renewable Energy Engineering

Professionally, for the last several years I have worked on large-scale SCADA systems for solar. For more details on the fruits of that labor, head over to juwi solar's O and M web page. Otherwise, here are some other projects in solar engineering.

Solar Controls Sun Trackers Sunswift II/III OpenADR
Solar Telemetry Equipment Low budget tracker accuracy test The UNSW Sunswift II and III. Open Automatic Demand Reseponse

The MS Thesis: Failure Analysis and Smart Grid Control Protocols for Anaerobic Digesters

I am one of very few people who received an MS in Electrical Engineering for a project which involved a great deal of manure shoveling, welding, and plumbing, in addition to reading generation interconnection manuals and learning about industrial control.

This thesis is the culmination of my two years at Clarkson, the tale of which is further discussed in the Digester Development projects below. When printed, it is 2^8 pages long. Anaerobic digesters, although dirty in the most wholesome manner, are a viable renewable energy technology Properly designed, they can provide baseload power that is competitive with coal for certain locations. Read the Thesis to find out more.

HTML Version PDF Version
HTML thesis PDF Version of thesis

The Clarkson Anaerobic Digesters

When looking for a project on which I could work to earn my MSEE, my concerns were to find a project which would be interesting and hands on, while also requiring that I learn about industrial control and utility interfacing for SCADA control. I originally went to Clarkson to study distributed generation interconnection requirements and utility dispatch control. Well, it turns out I got that, and so much more, in my key role in the construction and operation of two research digesters.

When working on this project, I never actually signed up to be the project manager, although I ended up taking on that role when we were working the long hard hours to get the Version 2 digester up and running. This project, because of its overall complexity (water heating loops, electrical wiring, welding, pumping, PLC programming, HMI design) and the great people I had working with me is one of my all-time favorites.

The Clarkson Digester: Version 2

Instructions Introduction Death Resurrection Electrical
Instruction manual Introduction V2 digester Death of the old digester Resurrection of the digester More on the electrical system

The Clarkson Digester: Version 1

Introduction Electrics Gas System Control and DAQ Mechanical Work The Manure Pump
Introduction Electric System Digester Gas System Digester contol and DAQ system Wrenching on the digester Guillaume's Pump

Field Experience

I believe that it is entirely important for engineers to get out in the field, and fix, install, or repair equipment that they design. This is not always possible, but that does not diminish the importance of engineering things that are straightforward to operate and repair by people who are not formally trained as engineers.

Chicago Spotlight! Another Digester Meter Retrofit
Chicago Spotlight. Another digester Meter retrofit work

Embedded Systems Programming

Nearly all of my work has been in C and Assembly for for Microchip's PIC microcontrollers. I also have experience with 8052 and MSP430 devices. There are several years of projects here, of increasing complexity as my set of skills and tools have increased. At this point, I can turn around an embedded PIC project and PCB inside of a few weeks, for simple enough projects.

HotBox Dataloggers Motor Drive BattEQ Singing Fish Stage 1 (tm) Stage 2 (tm) GrowController
The SSES hotbox. The SSES dataloggers. The 2004-2005 FEC project. The BattEQ prototype. The Fish. Crane Controller Stage 2(tm) controller Greenhouse automation technology

Engineering Integration

The tasks that are the most fun for me are those that combine multiple engineering disciplines. These projects involve things outside my core abilities as an electrical engineer, and include PLC integration with hot-tub accessories to test batteries, and using an X-ray diffraction rig to surface platinum for surface chemistry. These projects, like the digester, were mostly designed, assembled, and tested by me, with a lot of help by other people who know more than I do about specific tasks at hand.

Battery Spa X-Ray Grinder RF Tester ToolStroke Panel Building
The 2004-2005 FEC project. The X-ray grinding attachment. The Fermilab RF Tester. Tool stroke indicator for threaded insert placing tools Panels assembled in a hurry

Unique Repairs and Fun Projects

No electrical engineer could be complete without a section of bizarre and interesting projects to tinker with in their free time. Most of my test equipment is older equipment that needs fixing and repair, but that's not the cool stuff. Here's some neat things that I have fixed for other people or myself.

Sony CRT Barco LCD SRDC Refit Pyranometers!
The big Sony CRT projector. The BIG Barco LCD projector. The SRDC refit project. Pyranometer mounting platform

Mechanical Diversions

There's more to life that electrons. This section includes a sampling of my more mechanically-themed projects.

Turret Lathe Motorized Wall Test Case Motorcycle Minizooms Photocopier
The Lathe. Motorized wall Portable PV test case SECA 750 motorcycle Minizoom restoration Free copier! From dumpster to desk