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Hailee Smith

Hailee Smith

  • Major: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
  • Company: BAE Systems
  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • E-mail: hsmith61@vols.utk.edu

Ambassador Profile

From: Kingsport, TN     

I worked at BAE Systems, an explosive manufacturer, for three consecutive semesters after my sophomore year as a chemical engineering student. The first six months I was at my co-op I was a part of the plant engineering group where we were sort of a trouble shooting team.  Also while working in and out of different process buildings I assisted with new projects and running trials. The second six months I was there I worked with the design group on process improvement and designing new projects for plant expansion.

I have always been interested in industry after hearing about it from my uncle who was a mechanical engineer at BAE Systems at the time, and he convinced me it was a great opportunity to see what it was actually like to be an engineer in the real world. One of the larger projects I was a part of during my co-op rotation was designing a new process of an original product. The goal of this process was to mitigate some in between steps and still yield an in-spec product. We received such a large order that we needed a quicker way to achieve the same outcome. We ran several trials, presented it to the customer, got the process approved, and implemented it permanently.       

I strongly believe that being a co-op student helped prepare me to be a better engineer because I was able to go out and learn things students do not normally get to learn.  Also, it was a benefit that everyone knew I was a student so I did not feel so silly asking questions at this stage in my career.  I think it really gave me a foot ahead of other students in the race.              

Co-op experience for a new engineer is very rare and it will put you a step ahead of the rest of your peers. Do not be afraid to go see what being an engineer really is about, you will learn so much more to enhance the skills you acquire at the University of Tennessee.           

Beyond the classroom, I really enjoy being outside whether it is laying in my hammock, kayaking in the river, or just walking around the park.

Hailee Smith


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