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David Mejia Fernandez

David Mejia Fernandez working at Denso

The featured student this week is David Mejia Fernandez, a mechanical engineering major from Loudon, Tennessee, who worked for Denso Manufacturing in Maryville, Tennessee.

During his rotation, Mejia Fernandez worked in the Machine and Tool (M&T) department, working on a new process for a ceramic heater, which forms part of an O2 sensor. His task was to create a new process, build a working prototype, and test it to ensure that it is an improvement over the current process.

When describing the benefits of his co-op, Mejia Fernandez says, “The most valuable benefit I received is networking. I’ve met many people working for Denso and other companies which opens up opportunities for future employment.”

Ashley Weaver

Ashley Weaver

The featured student this week is Ashley Weaver a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major from Talbott, Tennessee, who worked for MAHLE in Morristown, Tennessee.

Weaver worked in the heavy-duty diesel department at MAHLE Engine components. For the majority of her projects, she tested the cutting and coating fluids for optimized performance of monotherm, monoweld, and ferrotherm steel pistons.

When describing the benefits of her co-op, Weaver says, “I really enjoyed being able to perform these tests in a real world scenario and not just in a chemistry lab. I was also able to learn new processes with chemicals that I had not learned in chemistry labs yet.”

Austin Winstead

Austin WinsteadThe featured student this week is Austin Winstead, a mechanical engineering major from Nashville, Tennessee, who worked for Brasfield & Gorrie in Birmingham, Alabama.

During his rotation, Winstead worked in Augusta, Georgia, on the Clubhouse Building at Riverside Village, attached to the left field wall of the Augusta Green Jackets Baseball Stadium. Working under the project manager, he handled the quality control tracking and the over completion schedule tracking of the individual subcontractors, oversaw the punch list for the Clubhouse building, and wrapped up the punch list for the Ballpark.

Winstead also gained significant improvements in reading technical drawings and understanding the design/construction process. As well as gaining an introduction to learning P6, a scheduling software, he had more exposure to construction management software like Plangrid.

When describing the benefits of his co-op, Winstead says the most valuable benefit is, “Real World Experience. Actually being able to go and speak with people in the field who have been doing construction for over 20 years was a valuable resource. Also, professional skills and people skills just by coordinating with multiple companies in order to complete a project.”

Sarah Hrach Speaks with Rep from PepsiCo at the Engineering Expo

Engineering Expo Sets Records for Participation…Again

The Tickle College of Engineering’s Office of Engineering Professional Practice recently held its annual fall expo, once again setting records for the number of students, businesses, and organizations participating.

“The Engineering Expo is our premier on-campus recruiting event,” said director Todd Reeves. “Employers look to us to help UT engineering students participate in their cooperative education and/or internship educations assignments in their organizations.”

The expo gives students and employers a chance to meet on day one, followed by interviews where there was common interest on the second day.

This fall, 93 employers came and spoke with 972 students, resulting in more than 1,200 interviews being scheduled. Five years ago, by comparison, there were 59 employers and 478 students participating.

Reeves said that his office tries to match students with employers that are closely aligned with their academic work and career goals. All of the positions UT students take are paid, meaning students earn an income while furthering their studies with practical, real-world experience.

“Nearly 45 percent of our graduating seniors each year have participated in our program,” Reeves said, “The expo is the primary engine that drives the connection between students and companies each semester.”

The Office of Engineering Professional Practice was founded in 1926 and is the second oldest program of its kind in the south, and one of the oldest in the nation.

Jessica Ossyra

Jessica OssyraThe featured student this week is Jessica Ossyra, a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee, who worked for SI Group in Newport, TN.

During her internship, Ossyra worked as a production engineering intern at a chemical plant, where her tasks pertained to process improvement, safety, and daily operations. Some of her daily tasks included utilizing API Standard equations to size pressure blanketing regulators for various tanks and make recommendations for purchasing, as well as analyzing the storage footprint of product material to make a recommendation for increased storage capacity in two warehouses.

Ossyra learned new technical skills on the job, as well. Including reading P&ID drawings, creating isometric piping drawing, field verification of isometrics, tracing lines through the plant, identifying different types of equipment in the field, reading a DCS monitor, and retrieving data from PI System software.

When describing the benefits of her co-op, Ossyra says, “The most valuable part of this internship was to actually be in a chemical manufacturing plant and see what engineers actually do on a daily basis. Seeing the equipment in real life, taking it apart, putting it back together, and understanding how it works really helps to put the calculations and theory into perspective. It becomes real.”

Fall 2018 Events

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

  • Engineering Cookout – August 31, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Engineering Courtyard at Perkins
  • Information Session – August 29, 5 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
    307 Science and Engineering Research Facility
  • Prep for Success: Promote Yourself – September 4, 5 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
    307 Science and Engineering Research Facility
  • Prep for Success: Interview Strategies – September 11, 5 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
    307 Science and Engineering Research Facility
  • Interview Deadline – September 7, noon
    Last day to be added to interview schedules in advance of the Engineering Expo
  • Fall Engineering Expo – September 18, 2–5 p.m.
    Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse, enter at Gate D
  • Interview Day – September 19
    Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse, enter at Gate D
    By scheduled appointment only

Tanner Hardin

Tanner HardinThe featured student this week is Tanner Hardin, an electrical engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee, who worked for SABIC Innovative Plastics in Mt. Vernon, Indiana.

During his rotation, Hardin’s main role was in HPP Finishing with assistant PAL, which assists the PAL in day-to-day problem solving to keep the plant running. This included reviewing and improving safe and ergonomic working environments, finding more efficient storage solutions in a small warehouse, as well as dust collector and conveyor motor reliability solutions.

Hardin said, “This term was challenging because of the volume of small projects I had. I was juggling no less than 10 projects at once, but that helped me to learn how to multitask effectively and efficiently.”

Yishmael LaMay

Yishmael LaMayThe featured student this week is Yishmael LaMay, a chemical engineering major from Franklin, Tennessee, who worked for Shaw Industries in Dalton, Georgia.

During his rotation, LaMay worked in the fibers division technical group. The department consists of various technicians who specialize in extrusion, synthetic turf, and polymer-based chemistry. His responsibilities consisted of gathering and analyzing data from trials and designing experiments related to stain resistive additives, synthetic turf, carpet fiber performance, and more.

One of the main projects he was tasked with, was to design and fabricate a prototype that could test for resiliency in the different types of yarn. His favorite part, however, was getting the opportunity to see how a manufacturing environment operates and works together to accomplish a goal.

LaMay believes that his co-op experience was extremely beneficial.

“One of the fears that people have with a co-op is that they will not be able to graduate on time,” LaMay said. “As much as that doesn’t sound too appealing, the experience gained is magnified.”

“You also have the benefit of increasing your network base, which can include full-time employment opportunities and building your own professional profile.”

Simon Boka

The featured student this week is Simon Boka, a computer engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee. He worked as a co-op student at OSIsoft, LLC in Johnson City, TN.

Boka worked specifically with the interface testing team. His main assignment was to perform tests on different interfaces to automatically check a specific interface feature. He also got the opportunity to participate in a company-wide “Visual Hackathon”, that provided him the opportunity to learn new programming skills.

According to Simon, “The most valuable benefit I received during my co-op is that I have a better view of what to expect when I get out of school. Also, I learned to refine academics skills to fit the company standards and I am more open to the spirit of teamwork.”

Simon Boka

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.”

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