Mike Deffenbaugh

Not Up To Date

This Engineering page was created before I graduated and started my current job. I have a gained a lot of experience since then but I haven't written about it yet. You can view my resume to get a quick summary of what I've done at my current job.


Solidworks is a pretty impressive program when it comes to engineering analysis. I had learned how to do frequency analysis of a beam and testing of a specific load on a beam in my Vibrations Lab course at Penn State. However you can do much more than testing beams such as modeling the flow of a fluid through a pipe or perfoming heat transfer analysis of a cooling fin. You can find tutorials in Solidworks or on the internet that will explain how to do these types of analyses. For example, below is the end result of a SolidWorks tutorial on the analysis of fluid flows. Click on the image to see more.

PID Controller - MATLAB (Guide)

Here is a quick look at setting up a PID controller in MATLAB. Various values for P, I, and D are evaluated and explained. Click on the image to see more.

The Test Track

I help to conduct crash testing for the Department of State out at the Penn State Test Track. I'm not allowed to show any videos of these crash tests but here is a video of a car jumping over a truck that was done for fun (before I joined the group). You can mute the video and skip to halfway through the video.

Click here for more information about my work on this project

3-D Modeling

Before learning SolidWorks at Penn State I learned how to do 3D modeling in high school in a program called Autodesk 3dsMax. Click on the image to see more.

Senior Design Project

This project involved automating an industrial bolt grinding process for SPS Technologies. In this picture you can see bolts sitting in their holding fixtures. Click the image for more information about my work on this project.

Vehicle Dynamics

In my senior year I took a course on Vehicle Dynamics because I've been very interested in cars for most of my life and I had enjoyed the other required dynamics courses I had taken so far. While taking the course I completed assignments where we had to create Simulink models of vehicle systems such as this simple one shown below. Click the image for more information about my work in this class.


I found that a lot of people, including myself, were having trouble understanding and graphing a SDOF (single degree of freedom) system used in one of our earlier Vibrations homeworks. I decided to write a tutorial because I know I was looking for one at the time of the assignment and I was having difficulty finding a good explanation. Here is an image of the final result of this tutorial. Click the image to see about my work with vibrations including my final project where we had to analyze an engine belt.