Eric Ponce

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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

PhD Candidate, First Year

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Hometown

Miami, Florida

Undergraduate institution

MIT

What sparked your interest in your current field, and what do you love about it?

Early on in high school, I found I had a passion for mathematics and physical sciences and especially teaching and tutoring them outside of school as a means of improving my own understanding of the subjects. Once I reached university, I found a subject, electrical engineering, that combined both of my academic interests, and project-based groups of like-minded students who explored the subject from a practical viewpoint with a strong focus on passing on hard-earned knowledge to younger members. As my education progressed, I became involved with two project-based classes taught by Professor Steven Leeb at MIT and eventually worked with him to develop electrical engineering hands-on teaching tools. I soon found myself attracted to the more rigorous and advanced academic research taking place in his lab, and have been working with his group and classes ever since.

Personal research summary

Humans have long extracted resources from the Earth as a means of producing, building, and expanding. As our economies become more industrialized, and the human population grows, renewable and non-renewable resources are becoming increasingly strained and rare. Utilities, such as water, gas, and electricity, are managed through a large network of aging meters meant to totalize consumption. By creating non-intrusive, internet connected, sensors meant to retrofit such meters, we can more accurately track real-time use of these utilities. Being able to take this data and analyze it will allow us to intelligently monitor loads, detect leaks and inefficiencies, and balance loads across entire grids. My research involves designing and characterizing these sensors, building applications around them, and using the acquired data to more fully characterize consumption in residential, commercial, and industrial application.

Personal interests

I enjoy working on Electric Vehicle technologies and implementations with the MIT Electric Vehicle Team, I love walking and hiking in the outdoors.