“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.” – Pearl S. Buck
Ashley graduated from NC State University in May of 2020 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. For her senior design project, her team was assigned a component security project commissioned by All We Are. Installation projects in Uganda were facing security threats such as light bulbs being stolen despite security measures All We Are had in place. Ashley’s team would spend their semester trying to figure out the best way to protect the assets after installations occurred.
Starting in August 2019, the team took off. After a semester of research, speaking with All We Are, and countless trials and tribulations, the team had a working prototype – a user interface that had a keypad and screen that would allow security to disengage a security alarm system and determine the location of the theft. By the December senior design day, Alshey’s team was ready to make their pitch.
It was wonderful. The students and faculty watching loved their work and the team ended up getting second place, drawing lots of attention from the department. Confident in their work and dedicated to the project, Ashley and her team focused heavily on their project, adding more than they were originally expecting to. After months of work, and a hunt for financing, the team was able to actually travel to Uganda to get feedback on their design. In Uganda, All We Are hosted a big assembly day, with schools from all over the country present. The project was explained, allowing students and faculty to ask questions and provide feedback. Sadly, the trip was scheduled for March COVID they had to get home quickly. This disrupted the project – but the team was determined to continue working on the prototype. Everyone stayed on the project through COVID and through graduation.
The project is now called Project Guardian. It is an alarm system and remote data monitoring system that allows information to be sent from components to the US team. This keeps the US team informed on how systems in Uganda are functioning. If there is a theft, the system lets the US team know what specific component was compromised. This allows for a better security system, but also lets All We Are collect data on different components. Over time this data will let All We Are know what works and what doesn’t. It can show if a piece of equipment keeps failing, or if something is lasting much longer than predicted.
Ashley is now a member of the All We Are volunteer team, and everyone else from NCSU is continuing to work on the project despite it being close to a year after they graduated. They meet twice a month to review operations.
All We Are has been lucky enough to work with a variety of talented students from NC State and other universities. No other demographic is quite as determined, hardworking, and innovative as college students. After all, our organization launched our SUN program from Nathan’s senior design project.
We feel so fortunate to be able to work with such bright minds, and are always looking for other great opportunities to have students involved in what we do. If you are interested in working with All We Are, do not hesitate to sign up or reach out.