Graduate Rocks On

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Engineering Technology graduate designs innovative instrument

MARIETTA‚ Ga. (Jan. 4, 2016) — Computer engineering technology graduate Lathrop Lougheed built a self-tuning electric guitar. Yet he doesn’t even play guitar.

Lougheed, of Canton, created the innovative instrument as part of a design class assignment with two classmates, Tyler White and Jonah Chizmadia, who both play guitar. Lougheed’s programming skills, however, were essential to the success of their invention.

The guitar has six motors to tune each string independently, he explained.

“Our design reads the frequency of each plucked string. If it reads too low, which is flat, the DC motors would turn the guitar’s tuning pegs clockwise. If it reads too high, then the note is read as sharp and will adjust the other direction accordingly,” he said.

The frequencies are determined by readings from the tuning board, which quickly identifies what note is attempting to be tuned and whether the pitch is accurate.

Scott Tippens, professor of computer engineering technology, said that Lougheed and his team did a wonderful job.

“This project was one of the best projects in the class and has been huge draw for students interested in our program,” he said. “It's easy to relate to and shows off the design and development skills of the students.”

While the guitar was a highlight of his collegiate experience, 23-year old Lougheed was also involved in Sigma Nu fraternity, serving on the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at the Marietta Campus.  He also served as the student representative for the University’s Honor Council and was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

A HOPE Scholarship recipient, the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology graduate is looking forward to starting his career and has recently accepted a position in information technology with Atlanta Networking and Computer Help.  

As for the guitar, it currently hangs on the wall in Lougheed’s office.

“I really want to give it to my dad, because he told me he would love to have something that I built,” Lougheed said. The computer engineering technology department has used the self-tuning guitar as an example for other engineering students, but Lougheed is the last of his group to graduate from Kennesaw State. 

When asked how the non-guitar playing member of the group gained possession of their invention, Lougheed said, “rock – paper - scissors.”

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