Tag Archives: co-op/internship

Co-op at Van Rossum Amsterdam

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 9 September 2017

In April 2016, I got in touch with a Dutch company located in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, which is only an hour away from my Dutch hometown. The name of this company is “Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs” and they are well known for their interesting and sophisticated structural engineering projects.

Likewise, they have received a huge price for their famous project “Hoog Catarijnen” in Utrecht, The Netherlands, for which they have designed the complicated foundation.

Designing the foundation of a Dutch building or bridge is an enormous challenge since the load-bearing soil is mainly below sea-level. This problem has been tackled by the use of piles, which is typical for Dutch engineering and architecture. So, it was challenging for me to apply my American knowledge of engineering to the Dutch projects I have been working on this Summer and in 2016.

I restarted my co-op this May and I was supervised by Senior Structural Engineer Melvin Eschweiler. Consequently, I had the chance to excel myself as an engineer while working at two different projects shown below:

Zeeburgeiland, Amsterdam

The City Garden, Van Heuven Goedhartlaan, Amstelveen

During these projects, I was privileged to expand my knowledge of the steel reinforcement bars within a concrete structure. Similarly, I had to draw the diameters, lengths, and the center to center properties of the steel bars on the floor plans, cross sections, and front views. To accomplish this, I had to use the newest software of AutoCAD (2017).

Because of the two projects and their tasks mentioned above, I had the ability to get used to the real engineering world. I had to work with a multidisciplinary team of all ages and academic levels. This was not as challenging as I expected, since I am used to working in teams because of my background as a field hockey player on the Ohio University Field Hockey squad.

Furthermore, because of this student athlete fact I am used to work under pressure with lots of deadlines every single day. Hence, my colleagues were happy with me as their companion and the collaboration with all of them went very smoothly.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of my co-op experience I had some trouble with the software. I had not used AutoCAD for over a year so I had forgotten most of the keys to make quick drawings. Luckily, my colleagues were patient with me and they explained me everything I had questions about despite their busy schedules.

Fortunately, I have worked a lot with AutoCAD 2012 during my freshman year, so at least I remembered the fundamentals of the software to get started eventually. Thus, my field hockey background has surprisingly helped me a lot during this co-pp and this experience will therefore help me in the classroom too.

Second Summer at Honda

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 31 August 2017

This past summer I lived in Troy, Ohio, while I was completing my second co-op term with Honda. I was located at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant working in the Engineering North America group. This group’s focus is the design and implementation of specialized production equipment for Honda plants. I was
specifically within the electrical design group working directly with a team of 16 other electrical engineers focused on automated manufacturing.

Similar to my previous co-op at Honda, this term introduced me to a brand-new environment and set of challenges that I have never seen or faced before. The Anna Engine Plant is 2.4 million square foot plant that employs 2800 people to assist in the production of engines for a wide range of Honda vehicles.
Working at a location such as this one I was able to work on tasks that brought forth challenges that are not found at smaller-scale facilities.

The projects I worked on gave me the opportunity to grow my skills in areas such as PLC and HMI programming, as well as in the area of electrical hardware design for automated manufacturing. The main focus for many of my projects was to add automated systems to current lines to help ensure part quality without impacting speed of production. I was fortunate enough to work on projects for my home plant in addition to a project for a Honda plant down in Georgia.

Now that I am back at school for my for senior year, I am able to look back and appreciate the opportunity I had during my co-op. The knowledge and skills that I gained during the past 3 months are ones that I will use for the rest of my academic career as well as long into my career outside of school.

The Bittersweet Time that is the End of Spring Semester

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 24 April 2017

It’s the time, yet again, in Athens Ohio where the cherry trees are blooming, deadlines are approaching, final exams are being administered and longtime friends are saying their farewells. Yes, spring semester here in Athens is always a bittersweet feeling.

Over the last four years I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most influential people, participating in outstanding organizations and partaking in opportunities of a lifetime. At the end of this week, I will be saying goodbye to many of my friends and wishing them the best of luck in all of their future endeavors.

Though I will be returning in the fall for one final semester, it feels as if I’m leaving this university at the end of this semester. I have wrapped up the majority of my classes making it so I only have two classes remaining; I have stepped down from all leadership positions within all of my student organizations; and as I mentioned, a good majority of my friends from the last four years are graduating in just a few days.

This is the first time in my life that I am beginning to look at my future and make decisions on a career instead of schooling. With that being said, I couldn’t be more excited to be finishing up and I feel that my experiences over the past four years have prepared me for my career in Civil Engineering.

I am starting a co-op with Shelly and Sands this week and will work for them this summer and continue through the upcoming fall semester. I was lucky enough to land on a project that is located right here in Athens making the transition from school to my co-op a breeze. This summer and through the fall semester will be a test run, for me, of Shelly and Sands to see if I like the company and if the company likes me.

So as I start my new co-op experience, finish my final exams and bid a farewell to all of the graduating seniors I can’t help but be reminded that time certainly does move fast. So as my last blog post ever as an Engineering Ambassador, to all of the graduating seniors: I wish you the best of luck and congratulations on this monumental accomplishment; and for all of you incoming first year students: welcome and good luck with the next 4 to 5 years!

Preparing for Summer

Brandon Mahr

Brandon Mahr,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 27 March 2017

The cherry trees are blooming, the birds are singing, and fest season is upon us, which means one thing: summer is right around the corner. This semester has absolutely flown by, and my plans for this summer are finally starting to come together. This summer, I plan to study abroad in Italy for six weeks studying business, hopefully intern for a couple of months, and also spend some time relaxing with friends and family.

This summer I have to travel abroad in order to fulfill a scholarship requirement. After months of planning, I finally decided to go to the Santa’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy to study business in the European Union. The Office of Global Opportunities (OGO) here at OU is top-notch, and they helped me throughout my search. I eventually came upon the Sorrento program through OGO, and I never looked back.

As an engineering student, it is often times difficult to find an abroad program that caters towards your program, but studying abroad can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and has many, many benefits. Think outside the box, and think of taking classes abroad that could perhaps help you achieve a minor or certificate.

I am also hoping to co-op with Toyota for a couple months before I travel abroad. I am in communications with them currently, and am trying to work out a position that lasts for only two months. Remember that intern or co-op terms typically last 3-4 months, so keep this in mind for summer plans.

Also, don’t forget to relax and spend some time with your family and friends over the summer. You only have 4 summers until you are thrust into the “real world”, so enjoy them.

Spring Co-op at Eaton Corp

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 6 March 2017

For the spring semester I decide to co-op with Eaton Corporation. This is my second rotation with Eaton and the plan is to continue working with Eaton and complete a third rotation this summer.

For this rotation I requested to be in Ashville, North Carolina. Asheville is one of Eaton’s electrical sector plants. This plant is close to 2.2 million square feet and has around 800 employees. It is a similar environment to my first rotation. Here I am working in the medium voltage drives department, and I’m completing projects in design, supply chain, and manufacturing/operations. I have been fortunate enough to work at a large plant where I can decide my own projects and work in various departments.

I would recommend that everyone does some sort of internship, co-op, or research while at OU. Until this past summer I did not plan on doing a co-op. I had already done two years as a research intern and completed one summer internship. I felt that my resume showed a lot of experience across different fields from those experiences and involvement on campus. However, I have found that doing a co-op has taught me a lot, and I do not regret taking the semester to work.

Moving to Asheville was a completely new experience. I have never lived outside of Ohio so the move was exciting and a culture change. When doing a co-op, everything is fast-paced: finding an apartment quickly, meeting new coworkers and friends, and exploring the new area in just 4 months.

While in Asheville I have been able to meet other interns and connect with fellow Bobcats that relocated here. I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Smoky Mountains, and along the Appalachian trail. The picture below was taken on one of the 6,000 footers that are along the Appalachian Trail.

Appalachian Trail

My biggest take-away from doing internships is that it’s not about how much you know before, but if you know how to learn. You may not use every formula you study in your classes, but you learn how to learn and problem solve.

Fall Co-op at Toyota

Brandon Mahr

Brandon Mahr,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 11 January 2017

This past fall, I was privileged to be a Production Engineering Co-op for Toyota at their Motor Manufacturing Plant in Buffalo, West Virginia (TMMWV). Over winter break Toyota offered me to stay and finish up a few of my projects, and I took the offer. My co-op experience was wonderful, and it was amazing to take what I learned in classes and actually apply it in a work setting.

So, while most of my friends were sleeping in and enjoying a much needed break, I was working. But, I couldn’t have been happier with my decision, though admittedly I definitely missed the sleeping in part.

I was fortunate enough to be given a large amount of responsibility and work some really cool projects in my time at TMMWV. My main goal was to assist in the implementation of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which was in the form of a more efficient, greener Engine Assembly Line. During my term I designed and implemented several new jigs/devices that helped improve TNGA’s line efficiency and improve line safety.

One really cool project I worked over Winter Break was programming all of TNGA’s Automatically Guided Carts. The Automatic Carts transfer Engine Blocks from one area to another, and I was in charge of deciding and programming the carts’ paths. I then designed a new way to ensure no engine blocks fell or were damaged when being transferred, which is now Patent Pending.

Deciding to take the Fall Semester off and co-op somewhere was definitely nerve-wracking, but it ended up benefiting me in a thousand different ways. It helped me see the value in my ETM degree, and I learned a lot that will benefit me in my future coursework. And although I enjoy waking up at 11 AM as much as the next guy, I am glad I went the extra mile and worked over my Winter Break.

Working with an OU Alum

Joe Meyer

Joe Meyer,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 January 2017

My sophomore year at Ohio University, I was able to find a co-op with a company called Rovisys, a company that specializes in automation controls. Rovisys came to the career fair, and were represented by two OU graduates. Since then I have been able to get to know many different alumni from Ohio University that work there. I believe that is what makes the Russ College great, its vast network of alumni that are involved.

I started working at Rovisys not knowing what to expect, but soon I found coworkers that were able to help me when I didn’t know what to do, and were always willing to help me out when I had questions. After working with different projects, I found myself relating with a group manager who had graduated from Ohio University in 2008.

After switching groups to the glass division, I found myself working directly with him on his projects. He was able to get me involved with projects that used cutting-edge technology to assist with the glass making and molding process. In that time I was able to learn many different technologies that allowed me to expand my knowledge on PLCs, data analytics, and general systems engineering.

Over the Winter Break, my group manager was able to throw me into a project for four weeks that got my involved in creating the HMI’s for a glass melting process. Instead of working on busy work, I was able to go into work each day knowing that I would be helping with something that excited me. With the guidance of an Ohio University Alum as my project manager, I have been able to greatly advance myself as a professional engineer.