During the Summer of 2017, I interned at Nucor Steel Connecticut, located in Wallingford, Connecticut. This was my first internship based in the United States! During this time, I gained a lot of experience in a variety of fields.
Nucor Corporation is currently the largest steel producer in the United States. Nucor Steel Connecticut, previously Connecticut Steel, was acquired by Nucor in 2006. Today, Nucor Steel Connecticut produces mainly two products: steel wire rods and welded wire mesh; a lot of its products are used for construction.
First of all, I learned about the process of making steel. Steel billets are delivered to the plant as raw material, heated up to over 2000 degrees in the reheat furnace, and passed through rolls to be reformed into various sizes. The machinery used for the process is incredibly complex. On the other hand, it was extremely fascinating to learn about the development of automation in the mill. Given that the main roll mill was built in the 1940’s, the machines are extremely old. Yet, engineers are still able to modify and work with the same equipment over 70 years later!
Secondly, I was able to gain hands-on experience with machines and tools. It was very interesting to see tools and machine tools being used in industry – outside of the machine shop! I get to drill concrete, align motors, and even learn how to weld! Additionally, I was able to watch parts being made in the roll shop, including precisely machined rolls for the roll mill stands, and replacement parts such as shafts for machines.
Thirdly, I was able to develop my design skills. I worked on a few projects that involved designing new machine components with an overall goal of improving the plant's efficiency, reliability, and maintainability. I utilized the skills I learned in my classes at CMU to make better design choices. Meanwhile, although I have no previous experience with the available software, Autodesk Inventor, I found it relatively easy to pick up because of my familiarity with Solidworks. I was also given the task of creating engineering drawings for machine replacement parts; I worked with many components, from simple shafts to complex assemblies.
Most importantly, I learned to prioritize safety. Given that the environment we work in is extremely harsh, we were required to wear PPE to work everyday. I was provided Arc Rated and Flame Retardant uniforms, a hard hat, safety goggles, steel-toe boots, and hearing protection. Every morning, we gather at 6:45 A.M. to talk about safety. It was interesting to see how Nucor Teammates plan ahead for their days with the “Safety First” mindset. For example, prior to going to work, they would have to determine which machines to lock out, or where they would tie off their harness. We must always be alert and aware of our surroundings as we work in an ever-changing environment.
I definitely had an extremely busy, fruitful, and fun time at Nucor Steel Connecticut!
During the Summer of 2016, I interned at Seagate Technology located in Korat, Thailand.
I worked in the Metrology Department of Slider Operations.
First thought that came to mind: " Wow! This place is huge!"
It was a very eye-opening experience because it was my first time inside such a large-scale manufacturing facility! The process flow for production had a rather steep learning curve, but I got through it because there was always someone who was willing to help. I was surprised to learn about the immense number of processes that are involved in the production of hard disk drives!
I worked on two projects during my time as an intern. Both projects aimed to improved performance of an interferometry machine, and both achieved its goal. Furthermore, my first project showed 100% improvement in machine performance!
The projects followed the DMAIC Framework: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. I learned about many Six Sigma techniques, as well as performing FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). For the first time, I was introduced to hands on data collection!
It was so exciting to be able to use the skills that I learned in a classroom on a real project. I utilized statistical analysis techniques, as well as my coding knowledge: I wrote two programs, one to aid machine calibration, and another to display and evaluate machine statistics. Most importantly, I developed my problem solving skills, in addition to cultivating engineering intuition!
This is me getting dressed to enter the Cleanroom. It definitely took a while to get used to!
What amazed me about the factory was how incredibly orderly it was. Every process had a well-thought-out procedure, and everything was really organized. Well, this was definitely necessary in order to keep its 10,000+ employees on the same page!
Not every lesson I learned at Seagate was related to engineering. On a daily basis, I coordinated with supervisors, engineers, technicians, and operators in the assembly line. I got to know some of them really well, and being able to talk to and share my experiences with them was something simply invaluable,
I cannot be more thankful for my time as an intern at Seagate!
During the Summer of 2015, I interned at Meinhardt, Thailand.
This was my very first internship and I was very excited!
I participated in various projects on designing HVAC systems in a team with electrical, civil, and sanitary engineers. I worked on both renovation projects of old buildings, and design projects of new buildings. In addition, I even had a chance to work on a project in Malaysia! I went on site inspections and wrote reports on the site’s conditions. Also, I created spreadsheets to aid with the calculation of heating and cooling loads.
Working as an intern at Meinhardt allowed me to improve and adopt many new skills:
I learned so much from my time as an intern, as this was the summer of my freshman year. If there was one thing I could take from this experience, it is that the engineering world has so much to offer!