I am Hellmut Kohlsdorf, born and raised in South America and living since 1976 in Germany. Until the Internet Crisis I did work in the semiconductor and the telecommunication industry. Since then i had being doing consulting work until 2 strokes and a couple of times of having my heart stop working due to cardiac rhythm problems, now hopefully solved thanks to a pacemaker, I have used a project of a model sailship to investigate, experiment and develop the most diverse techniques, so that once in a while I have been able to get some consulting jobs.
Now. with the goal to use Matlab and Simulink to design a special sail control system that uses a stepper motor to implement a winch and a few sensors to allow for a proper operation. The design and simulation should enable me to optimize the design parameters and to investigate upfront that the system will actually work.
As 35 years have passed since I spent a wonderful time studying mechanical engineering my maths knowledge has eroded so that I have to start from scratch. So I am planning, as a side effect, to get bachelors in physics, mathematics and electrical engineering by using the courses for those degrees as a roadmap to learn and refresh the subjects using i.e. OpenCourseware for the courses made available there by MIT and others available from german universities in the Internet.
Mathematica and its SystemModeler are/will be used to apply the mathematics I am learning from the above courses and work towards creating the desired model of my control system for the model sailboat. Physics bachelor courses can wonderfully be used to model the behaviour of the sailboat hull and booms due to wind and water surface movement. But learning is an objective of its own right!