Engineering Students at SonSet Solutions

by Ryan Bower, Assistant Director of Public Relations

For three Cedarville University engineering students, a summer internship is much more than just a chance to gain real-world experience; it’s a chance to make a difference in the lives of people around the world.

This summer, Dillon Henschen (computer engineering, junior, Wolcottville, Ind.), Anne Shipman (electrical engineering, senior, Winchendon, Mass.) and Michael Tapia (electrical engineering, graduate, Lakewood, N.J.) will work for SonSet Solutions to design software and hardware for use in a variety of equipment.

SonSet Solutions is an organization that uses the technical expertise of its staff to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through radio and clean-water ministries, as well as other technology-based initiatives.

Formerly known as the HCJB Technology Center, SonSet Solutions develops, designs, builds and fabricates equipment for use in third-world countries around the globe.
“We want our engineers to be able to use their technical abilities to minister to others,” said Jeff Shortt, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering. “I’ve personally worked with SonSet for over a decade and it’s a great opportunity for our students to use their skills to spread the gospel.”

In addition to sending students to SonSet as interns, Shortt has also led several spring break trips to the organization’s headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana, to work on a number of different projects.

“Two of the three students (Henschen and Shipman) were part of our spring break team this year,” said Shortt. “They’ll get a chance to finish what they started in March while Michael will gain valuable experience from his project.”

Henschen and Shipman will continue work on an equipment power protection unit that is designed to protect electrical equipment, such as X-ray machines and radio transmitters from “dirty” power that is often found in third-world countries.
Henschen will focus on the control and display software for the unit while Shipman works on system design, assembly and testing.

Tapia has been assigned to work on the design of an electrical monitor that keeps track of the overall health of water wells. The monitor records the number of pump revolutions and volume of water pumped each day to help ensure the well is operating at maximum capacity.

The crown jewel of SonSet’s efforts is a solar-powered radio that is pre-programmed to receive signals from Christian radio stations that partner with SonSet. More than 500 local FM stations in third-world countries use antennas, studios, transmitters and other equipment that has been made at SonSet Solutions.

In the last eight years, SonSet has assisted nearly 250 ministries in almost 100 countries as they bring the word of God to those who otherwise may not hear it.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.