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Ethan Weaver

Ethan WeaverThe featured student this week is Ethan Weaver, a Mechanical Engineering major from Spring Hill, Tennessee, who worked for PolyOne in Clinton, Tennessee.

Weaver worked under the Maintenance Manager, using his knowledge of engineering related practices and programs to support the maintenance department of the company in any way possible. During his coop, Weaver designed a replacement for the machinery located in the plant.It was his responsibility to measure the machine, design the part in AutoCAD, and then reach out to the contractors to find the most cost-effective way to get this part fabricated and installed.

He also worked on creating a digital catalog for all of the CAD drawings used by PolyOne. This project required him to design a data archive and create a process for efficiently cataloging, dating, and extracting thousands of drawing files created over the course of 25+ years. This project allowed the maintenance staff to easily find CAD drawings that are critical to their work in minutes instead of days.

Weaver says, “My time as a co-op has given me a new appreciation for my education and it taught me the value of hard work. While attending classes between semesters, I felt more engaged because I knew that what I was learning would be helpful in the future.”

Patrick Jung

2017 Summer Intern Flight suit shoot - Patrick Jung

The featured student this week is Patrick Jung, a Mechanical Engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee, who worked for NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Jung worked in the Advanced Measurement & Data Systems branch of the Research Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center. His main task was to parameterize the design of a strain gage for simple and immediate visualization of design specification changes. “I liked that there were open lectures every week of the internship providing a glimpse of the many areas of interest at the center,” Jung said. “There was also a class focusing on the basics of Finite Element Analysis offered, as well as many tours of the state of the art facilities on center.”

Madeleine Burrell

Madeleine Burrell at Southern Company

Burrell recently completed a co-op experience where she worked as a nuclear steam supply systems engineer at Southern Company in Vidalia, Georgia. Burrell gained hands-on experience by learning the mechanics of safe operation and contributing to the creation of electrical energy. She oversaw the procurement of various system components, led safety briefings, and observed a nuclear fuel exchange during an outage.

Burrell was chosen as a representative for community outreach programs and also took the initiative to develop a speaker program where she and other young engineers talked to high school and college students about the misconceptions of nuclear power.

“Networking with professionals in the field, developing my communication and leadership skills, and being able to effectively coordinate various project with peers, supervisors, and engineers is a priceless experience,” she said. “My co-op has allowed me to bring the classroom outside of the halls of my university. I learned through tactile application, then subsequently studied the method and rationale of what I have accomplished to create a versatile and well-rounded educational experience.”

Spring 2018 Events

The Office of Engineering Professional Practice is hosting the following events during the spring 2018 semester:

  • Information Session – January 23, 5 p.m.
    307 SERF
  • Prep for Success: Promote Yourself – January 30, 5 p.m.
    307 SERF
  • Prep for Success: Interview Strategies – February 6, 5 p.m.
    307 SERF
  • Interview Deadline – February 8, noon
    Last day to be added to interview schedules in advance of the Engineering Expo
  • Spring Engineering Expo – February 19, 2–5 p.m.
    Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse, enter at Gate D
  • Interview Day – February 20
    Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse, enter at Gate D
    By scheduled appointment only

Download an iCalendar file with these events

Evan Lockhart

Evan LockhartThe featured student this week is Evan Lockhart, a civil and environmental engineering major from Cedar Hill, Tennessee, who worked for Brasfield and Gorrie in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lockhart was involved in Region 4, in commercial project management.  A few of his job responsibilities were performing takeoffs, verifying change order quantities from subcontractors, updating tracking logs on activities performed on the jobsite, managing the inspection binder for all buildings in the development, procuring materials, and posting RFIs and submittals.

“If anything, this coop taught me to be proactive, because on a job as fast paced as the one I was on, it is easy to fall behind with all the work that takes place on a daily basis,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart believes the most valuable benefit he received from accepting this co-op was the opportunity to get on the job experience and the opportunity to find out more of what he wants to do when he gets out of school.

Nygel Yancey

Nygel YanceyThe featured student this week is Nygel Yancey, an industrial engineering major from Memphis, Tennessee, who worked for Duraline in Knoxville, TN.

During his rotation, Yancey worked in the quality department. His responsibilities were to maintain monthly reports on sales, orders, scrap, and customer complaints. He also maintained a system of controlled documents that the entire company must abide by. He did projects that pertained to keeping a record of data logs in order to make decisions based on accurate statistics gathered. These reports were used to discuss and determine what can be done to minimize issues that dealt with safety, scrap product, etc., and to maximize profit.

Elizabeth Fowler

Elizabeth FowlerThe featured student this week is Elizabeth Fowler, a mechanical engineering student from Franklin, Tennessee, who worked as a co-op student at The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.

Fowler specifically worked as Production Engineering co-op for the Ion Exchange, Anion Plant. As a Production Engineer, her main goal was to understand what a production engineer does from day to day. When first arriving at Anion, they were going through a shutdown. This was a great opportunity for Fowler to see the insides of vessels and learn about what happens during a shutdown.

Fowler’s projects mainly revolved around environmental issues. Her main responsibilities were updating the flow of organic materials going to the waste water plant, finding where the most delays happen in the process, and to constantly learn.

“Co-oping with Dow gave me a wide range of experiences in my field,” Fowler said of her experience. “It also helped me discover my strengths and my interests for my career, while allowing me to contribute real value to the company. I am now ready to hit the ground running when I start my first job.”

Fall 2017 Events

The Office of Engineering Professional Practice is hosting the following events during the fall semester:

  • Information Session – August 29, 5 p.m.
    307 SERF
  • Engineering Cookout – September 1, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Engineering Courtyard at Perkins
  • Prep for Success: Promote Yourself – September 6, 5 p.m.
    307 SERF
  • Interview Deadline – September 8, noon
    Last day to be added to interview schedules in advance of the Engineering Expo
  • Prep for Success: Interview Strategies – September 12, 5 p.m.
    307 SERF
  • Fall Engineering Expo – September 21, 2–5 p.m.
    Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse, enter at Gate D
  • Interview Day – September 22
    Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse, enter at Gate D
    By scheduled appointment only

Download an iCalendar file with these events

Kenth Santibanez Rivera

Kenth Santibanez RiveraThe featured student this week is Kenth Santibanez Rivera, an aerospace engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee. He worked as a co-op student at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Santibanez Rivera worked specifically in the Heliophysics Division at NASA. Duties consisted of performing testing for a mass spectrometer called mini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer. His responsibilities included installing and modifying two vacuum chambers in the lab to test the mass spectrometer, designing parts and assemblies using SolidWorks, and purchasing materials for all testing procedures.

Santibanez Rivera’s work aided the department’s operations by adding a newer, larger, testing chamber to the lab which will assist in speeding up the testing of mass spectrometers allowing the department to operate more efficiently to meet all testing deadlines.

Santibanez Rivera was also given the opportunity to attend meetings related to the progress of WFIRST (Wide Field Infra-Red Space Telescope) which is one of NASA’s future space endeavors. WFIRST is the replacement to JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) which is the replacement to the Hubble Telescope.

Santibanez Rivera expressed his amazement at watching so many people work on such a large project at one time but stated the collaboration he witnessed regarding needed design improvements to the overall project was in one word, incredible.

“Having a front row seat in my work here at NASA gave me the courage to continue my studies while showing me that aerospace engineering, my current major, is the field I want to go into,” he said.

Tiffany Onwu

Tiffany OnwuThe featured student this week is Tiffany Onwu, a chemical engineering major, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who worked for DuPont (Chemours) in New Johnsonville, Tennessee.

Onwu specifically worked with the department that focused on the final product. Her projects included assisting with implementing and training of a new instrument that would be used to monitor the quality of the finalized product. Also, she was involved with a project that was used to improve the quality of the product by performing various laboratory tests and collecting data.

Her training consisted of instruments used to test for certain specifications on finalized products. She was able to learn new technical skills while on rotation as well on how to perform process capability; which displays the actual performance versus the customers’ specifications based on each quarter.

A challenge Onwu faced was being able to balance and manage her time between projects. This was easily solved with calendar scheduling and dedicating certain days to a project. She also learned that it helped to talk with her mentors frequently, which assisted her to prioritize various tasks. The most valuable benefit she received was to be open-minded when it comes to the different areas on site that you are considering working in, whether it’s in the lab or in the plant.

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