Internships form a crucial part of the education and training of an engineer. Here is a look at several recent Wheaton engineering student internships.
McKenzie Blank ’ 22
Chemical Engineering - LIDAR Mapping in Israel
During summer 2019 McKenzie worked with archaeology Professor Dr. Daniel Master of Wheaton on an archaeological dig at Tel Shimron in Northern Israel. Her job was to develop a newly acquired LIDAR system so that it would accurately provide daily 3D renditions of the dig site and thus note soil and artifact removal. This LIDAR system had never been adapted for use at an archaeology site and so it required significant experimentation and development to bring about the required degree of accuracy. Currently the Wheaton engineering club is developing protocols with a LIDAR system.
Eric Ferry ’22
Aerospace Engineering - Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT)
Eric spent his summer working as a highway site inspector with the Minnesota DOT. He approved procedures and construction that allowed road projects to advance. While he came in with almost no road construction experience, Eric learned his role very quickly. Eric does not plan to become a highway engineer, but valued this opportunity to work on a large engineering and construction project.
Becca Geiger ’21
Mechanical Engineering - Toyota
Becca received her internship after meeting a recruiter at a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conference. She worked at the Toyota Technical Center in Saline, MI. Becca was assigned to a department that focused on safety and crashworthiness of vehicles. Becca’s team predicted and confirmed vehicle body structure integrity through modeling with finite element analysis and through compiling force and stroke data from prototype vehicles. They developed vehicle countermeasures as necessary to meet targets. Becca's work focused on predicting roof strength performance and protecting against passenger torso injury. She worked with a great team and felt ownership with her projects. Throughout her internship, Becca was exposed to a large variety of the processes that go into vehicle production. Additionally, she learned how the company worked (“The Toyota Way”) in order to create a healthy and efficient work environment.
Kari Miller ’20
Architectural Engineering - SmithGroup
Kari met an architectural engineer on the train to her classes at Illinois Tech who invited her to apply for an internship with SmithGroup, an engineering, architectural design and planning firm in Chicago. She got the internship and this past summer Kari designed pipe layouts for fire protection plans, created life safety drawings and verified other layouts of Fire Sprinkler plans with Revit modeling software. Kari enjoyed working in an incredible community work environment. She also gained a greater appreciation for fire protection, sprinkler systems and life safety plans used to protect the lives of building occupants.
Lucas Sekutera ’21
Mechanical Engineering - Lockheed Martin
Lucas worked with Lockheed Martin in Colorado Springs, CO. He worked on an EADGE-T project in their Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) area, which intends to build a central air command system that connects to and communicates with all external devices. This required significant documentation, which Lucas helped to prepare. Lucas encourages all future interns to be proactive in both getting help from others in the office when needed and identifying places where they can help if the workload gets low.
Daniel Songer ’21
Computer Engineering - Ewert Energy Systems
Daniel’s internship was with Ewert Energy Systems (ESS), Inc., Carol Stream, IL. EES is a small but growing company that produces and distributes battery management systems that monitor electric car battery cells, allowing the cells to run safely and efficiently. At EES, Daniel printed circuit boards, assisted with aluminum casting development to encase battery management systems and worked on a CCS Fast Charging system (similar systems are common in Europe and just now coming to the U.S.). The fast charging system will reduce charging time from about 4 hours to 20 minutes. For this work, Daniel used various programming languages, including Python, C and Java. Daniel is pleased to continue to work with EES on weekends.
Alek Woltjer ’21
Mechanical Engineering - Aero Technologies
Alek worked with Innotec Corporation, Zeeland, Michigan, a manufacturing company that supplies lights to John Deere, Ford and other companies. There he was in charge of a manufacturing line where he would check machines to make sure that all lines were functioning properly. In this internship Alek was paired with a senior member of the company to set goals and meet objectives. He had opportunities to work on individual projects as well as a joint project to eliminate waste in the manufacturing process. Alek recommends asking questions whenever you are uncertain about the next step.
Anna Webster ’22
Mechanical Engineering - Diesel Radiator
Over the summer Anna interned at Diesel Radiator, Melrose Park, IL, where she used Solid Works to assist the design engineers in product development. She redesigned the weld shop loop since they needed to add components to make their shop more effective (systems engineering). She also designed a mini terrarium as a marketing sample. Additionally Anna worked in the welding department and on a gasket leak experiment. Anna stated that this internship proved to be a good combination of design and experimental work, focusing on building a better product.
James Zeller ’21
Civil Engineering - Engineering Ministries International (EMI)
EMI is a Christian non-profit organization that provides conceptual engineering design for ministries in developing countries. James spent most of his time in EMI’s Colorado Springs headquarters, but went to Kenya for two weeks where he worked with national and international volunteer design professionals to design a campus for the Vineyard School of Ministry (VSM). This design intends to allow the school to grow from 50 to up to 250 students. Because so many engineers were all in one place, they were able to work quickly to develop the design. When they returned to Colorado, they finalized the design and were able to provide the school in Kenya with finished documents and a design report. James greatly appreciated the Christian atmosphere that he was working in, the people that he was working with, and EMI’s mission.
Clay Morrison ’20
Mechanical Engineering - CITGO Petroleum Corp.
This past summer, Clay worked at CITGO Petroleum Corporation in Lemont, IL. Clay was on the rotating machinery maintenance team, which included maintenance and testing of turbines, pumps, compressors, and fans that are needed to process crude oil and create gasoline, jet fuel, lighter fluid, diesel, and other refined fuels. Clay was primarily responsible for analyzing vibration data from these machines as well as developing a rotating machinery lube oil sample spot "survey" to improve the quality of samples as well as to modify safety guidelines and procedures.