Coming into this summer I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew I would theoretically be working on a project that would involve some design work in concert with my research, but what I would be researching and designing was unclear. From what I could piece together, I thought I would be assisting my advisor on one of his projects.
In a certain sense my assumptions were not completely wrong. What was mainly different is that I am working on an actuator for a concept system that my advisor hasn't worked on much for about a year. My work focuses on the design, optimization, and gas-cycle characterization for the internal combustion cylinder specified in the "Actuation system for a joint" (Publication Number: US20140260950 A1) patent application that was filed by Milwaukee School of Engineering last year, my advisor was the inventor.
So far the most stressful part of the experience has been being required to give my first presentation approximately 24 hours after my project topic was finalized. It came together alright, but hopefully I will have a better handle on the material and have some at least preliminary results for the next presentation that I have to give.