Going Nuclear

While the students are finishing Autumn quarter, and taking finals, we’re still catching up on summer internships!
Here’s a report and a photo from MSE senior Niko.

This past summer I worked at the Region II office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Atlanta, GA. I was a student engineer in the Division of Construction Inspection and was a member of the mechanical/materials/welding branch.

I enjoyed my internship because I was exposed to the nuclear industry from the regulatory side. I worked on a project that had a direct impact on the company, and visited five different sites related to the nuclear industry.

My project was a large literature review about how duplex stainless steel will be used in an upcoming reactor designs. Writing this document and presenting my findings helped reinforce what I learned the past several years.

There were five other interns with majors from Civil, MechE, NucE,  and EE. We were from different schools including Gerogia Tech, Florida, and one other Ohio State intern, a MechE.   Small world, too!  In my branch were three Ohio State Welding Engineering alumni.


She won’t get foiled again!

MSE Senior Courtney, reporting on her co-op with PCC Airfoils.

Courtney is co-op'ing with PCC Airfoils

I am currently working at PCC Airfoils SMP plant in Wickliffe, Ohio.  In simple terms, we make pieces for jet engines. And any good materials scientist knows how hot jet engines get and how the pieces inside need to be able to withstand said high temperatures.

My co-op started in July and will continue until the end of the year. My official title is “process engineering co-op,” which means I work with a process engineer.  Unfortunately my mentor is a Michigan fan and we disagree on all things Ohio State! But I still wear my scarlet and gray on Fridays.

The coolest thing about my position is that get to work with GE Aviation and all of their partners.  For example, I help with the land-based engines for Nuovo Pignone which is a GE Italian partner.  I really like being able to “flex” my metallurgical muscles.  You don’t realize how helpful certain classes are until you are able to explain solidification to your office mates.

My biggest fear starting my co-op was that I wouldn’t deliver what they hired me to do. That feeling disappeared after day one. The most surprising thing for me was that I actually like working in an industrial plant atmosphere. Plant life is not very glamorous; however wearing jeans and steel toes everyday isn’t bad. And the people who work on the floor are absolutely amazing and I think I would miss that working in an office environment.

This has been an amazing experience for me, because I have learned so much about what it is like to be a real working engineer and I have gained so much confidence in myself as an engineer.

Bouncing Water Droplet on a Superhydrophobic Carbon Nanotube Array

Here’s an awesome slow-motion video showing a water droplet bouncing off of a superhydrophobic carbon nanotube array! I find it truly mesmerizing!


Other than watching cool materials science videos online, I’ve been swamped by schoolwork! Whoever told me that senior year was easier than junior year lied! This could be due to the fact that I’m taking my first quarter of organic chemistry. I find the class interesting, but it is extremely time-consuming as far as studying goes! I’m also taking two polymers classes, both of which I like! Then I’m also taking an electroceramics class, which is challenging to say the least! Also, I picked the topic of my senior project and I’m super excited about it! We are going to be researching the effects of biodiesel/biodiesel blends on the materials used in biodiesel storage tanks and pipelines. It’s a mouthful to describe, but it should be interesting and fun! =)

Viva Titanium!

From OSU Materials Science and Engineering senior Adam Y.

I have been interning at TIMET (Titanium Metals Corporation) Technical Laboratory, the research and development facilities located in Henderson, Nevada. TIMET is a large titanium producer that supplies titanium for aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, and biomedical applications.

The internship has been great. TIMET has been flexible in letting me take projects in the direction I want. I have worked on research projects that apply to developing new alloys, implementing procedures for new nondestructive testing equipment, and investigative characterization on problematic titanium produced in the production facility.

I live in central Las Vegas right next to UNLV with two students who are working and taking classes. I can’t imagine being in a better location to see everything that I want to in Las Vegas. A few blocks up I frequent a Taqueria that hosts bands a few nights a week. I also play sand volleyball, dodge ball, or whatever is being organized by some of the students that I have met.

Las Vegas is surrounded by mountains that offer mountain biking and hiking year round. They have high enough elevations to have ski slopes during the winter and into spring. So far this summer I have been hiking, biking, tubing on Lake Mead, and I got the chance to stay a weekend in a cabin in the mountains in southern California.

Spending the summer interning at this company and living in this city has been one of the best summers that I’ve spent away from college. I feel privileged to have had this experience and I hope this encourages some students to think about interning at TIMET in the future.

Man of Steel… products

From Joel, MSE Senior

Time has flown and there are only 6 weeks left till classes start again!

Joel at the Charter Steel shipping yard

This summer I have been interning at Charter Steel in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio (of Charter Manufacturing) which produces round bar, rod, and wire steel products.   Sizes range from 7/32 up to 1-9/16 inches and almost all common grades of steel are produced.

I work with the Quality and Technical Manager for the rolling mill. The two major projects I work on involve improving the yield of product as it rolls through the mill, and organizing and consolidating the cooling practices that the steel undergoes. These projects will reduce downtime for the company, and increase revenue of the final product.

Making the Slinky

We melt scrap with an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) and strand-cast ~34-foot long billets that are 7×7 inches in cross-section. The billets are reheated in the rolling mill (where I work) and then rolled down from square cross-section to their final diameter.  A series of consecutive rolls (31 intotal) reduce the billet size. One 34-foot billet can produce up to 4-5 miles of steel rod. One billet weighs about 2.5 tons and is wrapped at the end of the rolling mill, much like a slinky.  One ring overlaps the next, which overlaps the next. The “coil” of rings is wrapped into a tight package which is then shipped to customers via truck or train. Common product uses include roller bearings, springs, welding wire, fasteners/bolts, and rebar for concrete.


Freshly-made Coil

Charter Steel ordered a set of uniforms and steel-toed boots for me so that I fit in with the hourly crews. I often get free lunch and I have taken a few business trips to customers’ facilities. It is a very laid back atmosphere at Charter, but everyone is a very hard worker when they need to be. There have been a few times throughout the summer where I actually had to pull out my old MSE 205 book to review some things with my boss.  It felt good to get some use out of my college knowledge.

Graduation looms at the end of fall quarter for me, but after this second internship, I feel better prepared for the real world. Now all I have to do is find a job….

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