Project: Feedback Controlled Linear Actuator

Goal: In order to better understand how muscle tissue and tendons operate, we are helping to innovate a control system that implements real-time feedback. This is so researchers like Dr. Arellano can acquire more consistent and accurate data. The previous design did not have a way to make real-time adjustments, so this led to a great amount of experimental inefficiency. Therefore, as part of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Senior Design course, we aim to design and implement a real-time feedback control system to facilitate experiments on muscle and tendon mechanics. Other team members include Danny Guevara and Daisey Vega.

Team Members

J.D. Wright

EE Undergraduate Student


I joined the U.S. Army after graduating high school in 2007. I went through Airborne training and was assigned to an Airborne unit in Fort Richardson, Alaska. What that means is we jump out of perfectly good airplanes. But my day to day job in the military was a wheeled vehicle mechanic. Working on the military vehicles I got a lot of exposure to the vehicle mechanical and electrical systems, and found that I really enjoyed making things operate as they were intended.

After my 4 1/2 years in the military, I went to Universal Technical Institute where I studied automotive and diesel technology. I also went through the Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT). While in FACT, I spent a lot of time working with and getting an in depth understanding of vehicle electrical systems. And I found that I enjoyed working with electronics and electrical systems. So I decided to challenge myself further, and pursue an electrical engineering degree. I will be graduating December 2018, and I look forward to being able to work with CenterPoint Energy, where I can apply my skills as an engineer and also give back to the greater Houston area community where I grew up.

Ronson M. Smith

EE Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate senior studying Computer Engineering at the University of Houston. I have been a part of a government funded Cyber Security research project aimed at better tailoring national efforts of security and defense in today's society and prevalence of the Internet. My interests lie in software engineering and the use of technology as a tool to improve quality of life. For my senior design project, I am working with Dr. Arellano and alongside other fellow Cullen College of Engineering seniors to create a control system for a linear actuator used widely in muscle-tendon and biomechanics research.

Andy Nguyen

EE Undergraduate Student

I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. My interests include tinkering and learning about generators, motors and computer hardware. Under the guidance of Dr. Arellano, I am working in his laboratory to broaden my understanding of electrical engineering and gain more insight in the mechanical field. I assist with the electrical hardware for the linear actuator, a system that Dr. Arellano is building for his muscle-tendon research.

Anujan Murugesu

EE Undergraduate Student