So far, my gap year has been super educational. I've learned how to make excellent coffee, take out the trash, curse at code when it doesn't work, and became the butt of every 'young person' joke around the office.
In other words, I'm an intern!
My original plan for my gap year was to get as much work experience as I possibly could. After shopping around for an engineering internship in my area, I managed to score one at a local firm called Industrial Measurement Systems (IMS) which was small enough to let me lead design on a product. My baby, the iETEK, is an automated version of IMS's flagship product, the ETEK. It's designed to ultrasonically measure the modulus vs. load curve of a car brakepads by compressing them while passing an ultrasonic signal through. The idea is that by measuring how squishy brakepads are, we can control quality and eliminate squealing brakes.
The IMS iETEK. Designed, built, and programmed by interns.