I have been doing PCB layouts for Home Electronics this year. I really enjoy PCB layout, routing a board is like solving a puzzle.
It has been interesting to get some experience with Cadsoft Eagle, the standard inexpensive PCB layout tool. It is very deep software with many powerful features, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed in some respects. On the good side, managing the library and drawing PCB and schematic symbols was easy to learn and worked very well. However, parts placement was much harder in Eagle than it has been in other PCB tools I've used. You really shouldn't have to take action (press the Ratsnest button), to minimize virtual connection path lengths. Expensive PCB tools have been able to minimize path lengths on the fly since at least the early 90s.
Recently I've been helping Phenostream, a hobby robotics company here in Toronto. One problem I've solved for them is the manufacturability of their VSM_02 SmartMotor modules. Some aspects of the assembly are very challenging, but with modifications to the existing tooling, a couple of new jigs, and process changes, the error rate has been reduced to a satisfactory level.
I was Technical Editor of documentation for the LDK5910, a development platform for Texas Instruments' OMAP5910 dual-core processor and running Empower Technologies' LinuxDA Embedded O/S (LEOs). I was responsible for overall planning to ensure accuracy, usability and quality presentation as well as to meet the marketing subcontractor's objectives. This included organization and editing of two LEOs Software Development Manuals, the Hardware Design Specification, the LEOs Productivity Suite User's Guide and the Quick Start Guide. I also created many of the technical drawings & figures and wrote several sections from scratch.
My thanks and appreciation to Infinite Media for giving me the opportunity to work on the project.
Indigo Manufacturing Inc.
I managed many amplifier projects during my time at Indigo Manufacturing*. One of the most exciting was the subwoofer amplifier for Infinity's Prelude MTS. As the product engineer on the project I was responsible for all aspects of the amplifier - this included developing new circuits and customising proprietary designs, schematic capture and PCB layout, working with mechanical and electrical drafters, magnetic component design and testing, and working with parts vendors and manufacturers. Making the 850W BASHTM amplifier fit in the space provided by the industrial designers was an enormous challenge. In the end the amplifier fit perfectly, without an inch to spare! In fact, the project was so successful that it formed the basis of many 800-1000W amplifiers for years after. The amplifier displayed on the front page of the Indigo website is based on the Prelude MTS PCBs.
* Indigo Manufacturing was bought by Sonavox International Holdings in 2006, but the company still operates as Sonavox Canada. Unfortunately, Sonavox Canada doesn't seem to have a web presence.
MCW Custom Energy Solutions Ltd.
I worked at MCW Custom Energy Solutions for my Professional Experience Year (PEY) and in the summer during my undergraduate studies. MCW CES is an Energy Services Company (ESCO), and I got involved in all aspects of the turnkey energy retrofit process. Most of the time I was responsible for publishing and graphic design of marketing material, proposals, and feasibility studies. I also performed site audits to catalogue installed equipment in buildings that would be undergoing the retrofit process. And, I sometimes did modeling and real world calculation of utility bill savings based on data like heating degree days, and occupancy rates. It was a fantastic opportunity, I learned a tremendous amount about the business side of engineering.