Summer with Cessna

Rachel also visited the Rocky Mountains.  This is NOT Wichita!

Rachel visited the Rocky Mountains while she was part of the way there. This is NOT Wichita!

Reporting from Wichita is MSE junior Rachel who tells us about her summer internship working with Cessna Aircraft .

Rachel CessnaI am doing a materials internship this summer in Wichita, Kansas at Cessna Aircraft (now part of Textron Aviation), in the metals group of the Materials and Processes Engineering division.  My internship requires me to inspect returned parts and parts from the production line, and to write condition reports on the pieces. I spend a lot of time in the lab, often getting dirty, and am consistently busy. I have been fortunate to be able to observe the entire production line, from raw material to finished airplane, for both Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft.

There is something special about working for an airplane manufacturer. No matter how tired, hungry, or ready to go home I am, it is awe-inspiring to walk through the hangar and see the lines of planes in production, and to realize that, in some way, no matter how small, I am a part of it.

Rachel Ground SchoolAs for the rest of the summer, I also look forward to Engineering Fastener Training, Private Pilot Ground School, and a trip to San Francisco and Yosemite.


Polymers and People — Summer German Internship

MSE Junior Katie Daehn talks about her summer research internship in Germany.

Katie in Munich.

Katie in Munich

Having lived in Columbus my whole life, living in Germany for 12 weeks with a DAAD RISE scholarship was a hugechance for growth, both technically and personally. I left everything that was comfortable and familiar and headed on my own to Jena, Germany – a small town nestled between hilltops in the Eastern part of Germany. I spoke a little German from high school courses and had travelled in Germany with my dad and brother before, but living and working there introduced new cultural nuances that I never would have expected.

Keys are inserted into doors upside-down, checking out at the grocery store is a very rushed event, and “German bureaucracy” really exists. These nuances on top of meeting all new people, being immersed in a foreign language that I spoke worse than 2-year-olds, learning the ropes in a new lab, and taking a graduate-level polymer physics class in German, where I was regularly called on to answer questions, meant I had quite an adjustment time.

However, it was these hard times that made my time in Germany exponentially more meaningful. I embraced the experience, learned a ton, and felt alive. I met so many interesting people from around the world, saw a very influential history in a real way, and experienced some incredible moments traveling around Europe.

My internship involved researching and simulating the behavior of carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP’s). Composites were an area of materials I knew little about going in, but they are light-weight with strengths comparable to metals, so conducting research in this growing and important area was definitely valuable to my career as a Materials Scientist.

Sample preparation

Sample preparation

I helped prepare CFRP plates, performed tensile tests, wrote a Matlab program to analyze the data, collected results on the elastic modulus, and used ANSYS to model our testing parameters. I gained experience in mechanical testing as well as in computer simulation and analysis.

My internship was very rewarding because I developed new skills, got experience with new equipment, worked with an international group of people, and saw first-hand how the German education system works and how research is conducted in a completely different lab.

It’s really hard for me to sum up everything my summer in Germany was to me, but it will always be precious. I really appreciate everything I learned in the lab, the work and consideration my advisor went into teaching me and always inviting me on coffee breaks, my fellow RISE students and our adventures – from sprinting to catch trains to long barbeques in the park. Though I’m more confused than ever about the world and my place within it, I’m filled with a new confidence to keep exploring. And the next time I’m overwhelmed by change and the unfamiliar, I’ll know that there are great people everywhere and I’ll find my way.

A Tasty Internship

Prashanth Peketi an MSE senior, tells about his internship with Dannon Yogurt. Although it was different than he expected, Prashanth had a great experience and added new skills to his resume.

Prashanth Peketi interns with Dannon Yogurt.

Prashanth Peketi interns with Dannon Yogurt.

Working at Dannon Yogurt in Minster, Ohio, was a whirlwind of experiences. I was assigned the role of safety engineering intern and given the project of writing procedures on how to properly preform maintenance on different pieces of equipment around the factory.

Writing procedures isn’t the most exciting job by any stretch of the imagination, but using the resources around me and pushing myself every day to learn as much as I could resulted in a very gratifying experience. I gained a lot of knowledge of the manufacturing world, the pace and rigor at which jobs are completed, and the dedication it takes to work at a company that is constantly evolving and growing.

I was surprised at my own influence as an intern, as I governed a $35,000 construction project in the factory in order to create a more efficient and safe system. Dannon also has a great intern program that connects interns from around the nation, as we worked together with plants in Utah, Texas, and New York to accomplish various projects that were assigned week to week.

Overall, my summer at Dannon was one of personal and professional growth that will prove to be very beneficial in the future.

Research internship in Germany

Colin, an OSU MSE junior, spent this past summer as an intern for Bodycote Kolsterising.  Here is some information about his work, though he doesn’t say anything about the lederhosen!

Bodycote is an engineering firm that specializes in low temperature diffusion of carbon into stainless steel.  I worked at the regional plant in London, Ohio, during the summer of 2012, and was asked to return for the summer of 2013.  Thus, during the summer of 2013 I went to Germany as an intern and researcher for Bodycote Kolsterising.

Colin at the Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance.

Colin at the Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance.

My goal as researcher for Bodycote was to find a better cleaning method for Kolsterised samples.  After Bodycote’s proprietary Kolsterising process, the stainless steel is left with a dull brown coloring, instead of the shiny metallic luster normally associated with stainless steel.  Bodycote has an in-house cleaning process that was yielding unsatisfactory results. It was my task to remedy this.

I first arrived in Landsberg Am Lech, Germany, where I spent a week studying the current cleaning process at the Kolsterising plant.  I spent the remainder of the summer in Konstanz, where I performed independent research within the Department of Materials Research at HTWG Konstanz, under the guidance of Dr. Paul Gumpel.  I was responsible for the design, data collection, and analysis of my testing.  After five weeks of testing, I had created my own cleaning process that showed promising results.  During the remaining 5 weeks, I optimized and analyzed the results of my cleaning process.

Colin rocking the Bavarian party attire

Results indicated that the new process created optically cleaner parts that were more corrosion-resistant than the current cleaning process.  At the end of my stay, I presented my findings to the VP and European sales of Bodycote who are now trying to implement my cleaning process into their plants.

Rocky Mountain “Hi!”

Jake and his research poster

Jake and his research poster

At my REU in Golden, Colorado, I gained experience in research, industry, and life.   The program was funded by the National Science Foundation and focused on metallurgical aspects of MSE.  I worked alongside a professor, Emmanuel De Moor from the Colorado School of Mines and senior scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology: alumni from OSU and from Northwestern. Talk about a great group!

We evaluated 4 alloys for their compliance with a new code: Fire Resistance of structural steels. Basically, it was a lot of elevated temperature tensile testing and microscopy. I gained experience in both, but focused more on characterization. One of my pearlite images is even being entered into a competition at the Microscopy & Microanalysis conference!

At the end of the summer, we had a poster session and mine was judged in the top 5 out of 60.

Work was not the only thing that occupied my time, of course. The students I lived with at Mines Park were very adventurous. We visited Denver for Colorado Rockies games and concerts, hiked 14,000+ ft. mountains, went skydiving from 18,000+ ft., took a few local brewery tours, and played some golf.

Enjoying Colorado

What did I learn from this experience?
* I love the outdoors.
* Heights aren’t such a big deal anymore.
* Grad school is definitely the next step in my life.
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