Tyler Niday Encinitas, Calif. / 26 BioResource and Agricultural Engineering BS, 2012 California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo Research and Development Engineer Orchard Machinery Corporation (OMC), Yuba City, Calif. I am a private pilot and currently fly a Mooney M20e. Flying is one of my passions, and I take to the sky for work and pleasure. I also love surfing, snowboarding, and music. My boss says I’m very artistic for an engineer— free-spirited, out of the box, creative, quirky. As a Cal Poly freshman business major, I happened by the ag engineering shops housing two tractors, one powered by two blown hemi engines and the other by an Allison V-16 aircraft engine. I love building things and found out that the BRAE department is very hands-on, so I switched my major. As a senior with a post-graduation job already in hand, I made another switch. At a career fair, I was blown away by OMC—a company all about new things that has a manufacturing facility with state-of-the-art automated equipment. When I started at OMC, there was talk about creating an autonomous shaker without GPS. In dense orchards, a satellite signal can’t provide enough accuracy due to canopy cover. We just went for it and built a sensing apparatus to automate the shaker machine. I love seeing an idea turn into a finished product! When you shake a tree, each individual limb on the tree has its own natural frequency, and the nuts fall off when the limb hits that natural frequency. With our FAST (Fully Automated Shaker Technology) system, the machine holds a set rpm for a set duration, ramping up and down through the rpms or slowly ramping up to the desired frequency. Recently, I prototyped this new machine in Australia. We had great results—a more thorough shake in less time.
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