2016 Corporate Trip, Day 2

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 21 October 2016

From Sunday through Tuesday of this past week, we went on our fall corporate trip to Cincinnati. Last year, I was unable to attend the trip because I had commitments for the Marching 110, but I felt extremely lucky to have been able to make it this time around. On our last day in Cincinnati, we visited two different organizations: ThyssenKrupp Bilstein and GE Aviation.

The OU alumn at Thyssenkrup Bilstein, Jason, is actually married to Shelley Heinen, who was our guide on Monday at 84.51. The two companies could not have been more different: ThyssenKrupp is a heavy-duty manufacturing plant while 84.51 is all about technology and data.

I was excited to get to see both sides because it really showed where engineering can take you. Seeing OU alumni who are so successful in their careers is really inspiring because it puts into perspective where we can go with our degrees.

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein manufactures shocks for the automotive industry, and getting to see what goes into the parts of my car was honestly fascinating.

After we were done at ThyssenKrupp, we headed over to the GE Aviation facility. We weren’t at a manufacturing site—actually, we got to see where a lot of GE’s training goes on. Even as someone who has never really put too much thought into jet engines, I thought this facility was absolutely incredible. Being able to walk around and see the evolution of the engines was inspiring, and I was amazed that one of the jet engines they had there actually isn’t in the sky yet.

Zach, the OU alum at GE, mentioned that he had worked on the heat exchanger around a specific part of the engine which he showed us. Zach said that his favorite class at OU was heat transfer: he actually brought it up in his interview which led to him being placed on a design team which focused on heat transfer.

I think that being able to apply the concepts we learn in the classroom to solve real, complex issues is something that each of us strives for after graduation. This trip was a bright spot during the busiest time of the semester and allowed me to focus again on what my engineering degree will allow me to do: find creative solutions to problems and make the world a better place.

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