Assessing the Entire Functional Safety Hazard Space

Safety is a challenging status to achieve and maintain, thus the need for the guidelines that collectively fall under the heading of Functional Safety (FS). DISTek has always been conscience of safety as it applies to the products developed for our customers. This includes implementing the various requirements and guidelines associated with Functional Safety, as expressed in documents, such as ISO 25119.

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Our Commitment to STEM: Preparing the Next Generation

DISTek Software Engineer, Jacob Shelley, with his team at the 2017 Cedar Valley STEM Festival

DISTek has been encouraging youth in STEM and problem solving by sponsoring FIRST teams for many years. This year is no different. DISTek is sponsoring ten FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams and eight FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams. We will also be sponsoring FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams when their season officially kicks off in January. In addition, we have ten DISTek team members that have committed their time to either coach or mentor teams.

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DISTek to Present November 8th at ESC 2017 Minneapolis

Human Nature and Requirements Elicitation: Lessons Learned

You would think that the easiest, least challenging, part of developing a software solution for a customer is to ask them, “What problem do you need solved?,” to which the customer would simply and clearly answer it in one or two paragraphs. Yet, that is far from the case. Of the various phases that occur during the development life cycle of a software project, the phase with the greater opportunity for cognitive interference is the requirements phase.

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DISTek to Host MBSD Training – September 15th & 16th

Modeling
Modeling

DISTek will be hosting an Intro to Model Based Software Development training course at our Cedar Falls Development Center on September 15th and 16th, 2016. Make plans to join us today!

Intro to Modeling & Simulation - Mathworks’ MATLAB®, Simulink®, & Stateflow®

Audience: Engineers working in the off-highway vehicle equipment industry, particularly with electronics.

Description: This training is designed as an introduction into MBSD, specifically around the toolboxes MATLAB, Simulink, and Stateflow. To start, this class is meant to be an alternative to the 5 day training class that the Mathworks offers. The class will be run leaner with a greater focus on MBSD. DISTek will be incorporating feedback from attendees to make sure there are no significant gaps. The goal of this class is to provide a basic introduction to Simulink and Stateflow block sets, applying them to implement basic features. The class will be hands on with demos and examples throughout, ending with more specific in-depth exercises. Best practices and MAAB guidelines will be employed throughout the training.

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Systems Thinking

I’ve recently been developing a deeper, more passionate skillset for the ever-so important topic of “system” engineering. Our team just completed the creation of a model to simulate a simple tank, where our embedded software would monitor and dispense product from the tank, and our “plant” model would take the output of our embedded software, “act” as the actual product the software is controlling, and provide our software with inputs so it knows how to control the outputs, thus creating a closed-loop system. This helps us simulate and test our control strategy in a simulated environment.

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ALPHA Students Visit DISTek

The DISTek test cab.
The DISTek test cab.

On Friday May 1, DISTek hosted about 50 junior high ALPHA (Talented & Gifted) students from Holmes and Peet Junior Highs in Cedar Falls. These students completed a 6-week unit in January and February on careers and were interested in engineering fields. The purpose of their visit to DISTek was to learn more about the various types of engineering.

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STEM Education through Lego

The Cedar Falls FLL Regional
FIRST LEGO League in action.

The Cedar Falls Regional Qualifier for FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and the Cedar Falls Regional Expo for Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) took place recently at Peet Junior High.  DISTek and its people are very active in supporting FIRST related teams.  There were at least three DISTekians who served as coaches or mentors for FLL teams and one DISTekian who was the coach for a Jr. FLL team.  DISTek was also a sponsor of multiple teams.

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