Brandon Gonzalez finds creativity in engineering energy efficiency

For some, engineering captures the imagination at a young age. But while Brandon Gonzalez wondered at the marvels of his Nintendo Game Boy when he was young, it wasn’t until he took engineering courses as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania that he found his passion.

Brandon Gonzalez wears a face mask in the GRASP Lab.
Brandon Gonzalez. (Image: Penn Engineering Today)

Gonzalez credits his introductory courses in computer systems and electromagnetism as the reason he is focusing on electrical and systems engineering in his master’s degree program at Penn Engineering. His master’s thesis outlines his work developing novel forms of computing and making them as efficient as possible. His research combines a focus on embedded systems, signal processing and electronics design to support two companies based in the Pennovation Center, the business incubator and laboratory that aligns researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to commercialize research discoveries.

“We’re looking to develop a hybrid sensor system that can more accurately and efficiently detect whether a human is present in a room,” Gonzalez explains. “We hope to prototype a board that integrates a mix of sensor types. One possible application for this work is in energy-efficient buildings to lower the cost of and conserve electricity.”

His research has inspired him to pursue a Ph.D. in energy engineering. “I believe that energy conservation and the continued development of energy-efficient electronics will be one of the most crucial challenges of this decade,” he says. “My hope is that I can help contribute to the solutions that push us toward a greener future.”

This story is by Amy Biemiller. Read more at Penn Engineering Today.