Synopsis of Work History for Kenneth Hamel

I am a graduate from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Over the course of my career I have experienced a diverse range of positions and fields. The order below is chronological.

1989 - 1990        Senior Design Project - Microprocessor Controlled Thermostat with Software

1990 - 1993        Electrical Hardware Design/Production Support Engineer

1993 - 1996        R&D Engineering - Multiplexing, Integration, Ladder Logic Programming

1996 - 2002        Test Engineering - Functional, In-Circuit and X-ray Inspection, CAD Translation

2002 - Present   Contract Manufacturing of UL Listed Electrical Control Panels


1.  Automotive – Delco Electronics – Electronic Module Manufacturing

I became familiar with many of the electronic circuit board design techniques employed in building electronic microprocessor controlled Body Computer Modules (BCMs) for General Motors Cadillac vehicles (Allante and Brougham). These modules were built and tested to meet or exceed the SAE standards required. The majority of circuit boards were conformally coated to protect against moisture invasion, circuit boards in many cases were 4 layer boards (or more) with dedicated power and ground planes to improve performance, inputs had hardware low pass and/or software filtering, outputs had spike and/or over current protection, many wiring connectors into the box had ferrite beads built right in, the microprocessor had watchdog or COP capability, power input to all modules had surge protection to protect against some of the known extremes (like load dump), communication networks and protocols varied from vehicle to vehicle (ie. SAE J1708, others being proprietary). Motorola microprocessors (now Freescale) were the primary choice, but others were investigated. Schematic capture, electrical simulation programs, spreadsheets and hand calculations were used. Modules were introduced into production according to phases (from conception, to prototype, to production). During one or more of the phases the modules were exposed to electromagnetic radiation in an anechoic EMC chamber to determine stability and robustness to potential environmental hazards. Electrical and mechanical sturdiness were also tested.

2.  Automotive – Flxible Corporation – Transit Bus Manufacturing

I performed vehicle systems integration for the Research and Development department. I took hand written descriptions for vehicle functionality and translated this into flowcharting so that a multiplexing system could be installed in a prototype vehicle (100+ I/O points). I chose which vehicle I/O the multiplexing system would interface with and how. Standard production vehicles used relays almost exclusively to perform simple and complex functions, while some functions were copied over and over again from one vehicle to the next. The result was a massive collection of circuit breakers, relays and spaghetti wiring to accomplish a single 12/24 VDC vehicle. The main disadvantage of this technique was troubleshooting of the vehicle if something was built wrong or wired incorrectly. Changes to the vehicle after delivery were possible but time intensive, provided documentation of the wiring and system were exacting. The multiplexing system reduced almost all of the relays required, the system was distributed along strategic points for simplicity, and vehicle functionality could be easily modified through software changes. One of the multiplexing systems employed in this prototype vehicle was an Allen Bradley SLC500 setup in a two-zone configuration. What this system lacked in output module current capability more than made up for in the ease of the ladder logic programming, which included the ability to remotely access the system and either monitor or modify the software via modem. A higher current DEVICENET module was conceptualized for future development.

3.  Telecommunications – Lucent Technologies – Telecommunications Manufacturing

a.)  Troubleshooting - I worked in a lab troubleshooting defective telecommunications circuit packs at the circuit board level with two test sets mirroring 8 test sets used by union associates to test and validate production circuit packs. In this capacity, I personally recovered approximately one million dollars of defective circuit packs. 

b.)  Functional Test Engineer - After one year, I became a functional test engineer supporting not only the troubleshooting lab but also the 8 functional test sets used for production testing of circuit packs by union associates. This plant manufactured and assembled telecommunications circuit packs designed by Bell Labs folks. The process started with an unpopulated circuit board and support components (similar to Delco’s):  silk screening of solder paste, hand placement of components, robotic placement of components, wave solder, reflow solder, visual and/or xray inspection of components and solder, in-circuit test, functional test, systems test, and after all pass product moves to finished goods inventory for final shipment (the order and substance may have varied from product to product). 

c.)  In-Circuit Test Engineer - 

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