Ed Carryer graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1975 with a BSE as a member of the first graduating class of the Education and Experience in Engineering Program. This innovative project-based learning program taught him that he could learn almost anything that he needed to know and set him on a path of lifelong learning. That didn’t, however, keep him from going back to school.
Upon completion of his Master’s Degree in Bio-Medical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1978, he was seduced by his love of cars, and instead of going into medical device design, he went to work for Ford on the 1979 Turbocharged Mustang. In later programs at Ford, he got to apply the background that he had gained in electronics and microcontrollers during his graduate work to the 1983 Turbocharged Mustang and Thunderbird and the 1984 SVO Mustang. After leaving Ford, Ed worked on the design and implementation of engine control software for GM and on a stillborn development program to put a turbocharged engine into the Renault Alliance at AMC before deciding to return once again to school. At Stanford University, he did research in the engine lab and earned his PhD in 1992.
While working on his PhD, Ed got involved in teaching the graduate course sequence in mechatronics that is known at Stanford as Smart Product Design. He took over teaching the courses first part time in 1989, then full time after completing his PhD. In teaching mechatronics, Ed seems to have found his calling. The integration of mechanical, electronic, and software design with teaching others how to use all of this to make new products hits all his buttons. He is currently a Consulting Professor and the Director of the Smart Product Design Lab (SPDL). He teaches graduate courses in mechatronics in the Mechanical Engineering department and an undergraduate course in mechatronics in the Electrical Engineering department.
Since 1984, Ed has maintained a consultancy focused on helping firms apply electronics and software in the creation of integrated electromechanical solutions (in 1984, almost no one was using the term mechatronics).The projects that he has worked on include an engine controller for an outboard motor manufacturer, an automated blood gas analyzer, a turbocharger boost control system for a new type of turbocharger, and a heated glove for arctic explorers. His most recent project involved using ZigBee radios and local structural model evaluation to create a wireless network of intelligent sensors to monitor and evaluate the structural health of buildings and transportation infrastructure.