Bearing it all

Marc will be a senior MSE student at OSU this year.  Here’s what he has to say about his summer internship.

I’ve been spending this summer interning with The Timken Company in North Canton, Ohio. Timken is a global bearing and specialty steel business which began in 1899 with Henry Timken’s invention of the tapered roller bearing. Today, Timken grosses over $5 billion annually.

Marc at his Timken internship

Marc at his Timken internship

I work in the TEC Center on the Non-Destructive Evaluation team, using LabVIEW to analyze the validity of case depth measurements of bearing parts. Most of Timken’s products are case hardened in order to extend the parts’ working lives and increase their resistance to wear. A high frequency transducer is used to measure the case depth without compromising the integrity of the part. A plot is then produced from the gathered data, presenting details about the hardened part’s microstructure.

The project began with basic brainstorming of validity requirements and progressed to programming, debugging, and comprehensive studies of plant databases. I’ve completed other smaller projects throughout the summer as well, including a comparative study of two material characterization instruments and a budget for the TEC Center’s Summer Celebration.

Work has been only one aspect of my summer, though. Most of the interns, including myself, live together in a residence hall at Walsh University. Our social activities included an intern volleyball league, rafting in West Virginia, attending an Indians game, several lunches (many of which were longer than the allotted hour), and more. We’ve decorated the conference room board, learned some Chinese, and established a “Word of the Day.”

Overall, we have been able to make a positive and meaningful impact with our summer projects. Not only did I gain technical skills and real world experience, but also several new friends.


Hey, MSE graduate: what are you going to do next?

When Marcia graduated in December 2012 with a general business minor and a polymers focus to her MSE degree, she really meant it when she said, “I’m going to Disney World!”  Before applying to graduate school, Marcia decided to work at one last magical post-graduate internship.

“Magical Moments” isn’t a phrase an engineer would normally use, but in my position, this is an everyday saying. I am a member of the R&D team in the Creative Entertainment department at Walt Disney World, where we develop and refine lightweight, comfortable, durable, and colorful goods for the Costuming Team. We use a broad palette of materials, from soft foams and urethanes, to stiff epoxy-fiberglass composites, using processes including hand lay-ups, rotocasting, resin infusion, vacuum forming, and rapid prototyping.

Mickey and Marcia

Mickey and Marcia

With Lucasfilm and Marvel joining Disney, the number and variety of projects continue to increase. For new projects, we work from a design concept, then research and develop manufacturing methods as we build the prototypes. Redesigns are commissioned when a specific piece is outdated, either aesthetically or technologically. We continuously investigate new materials and techniques that promise to reduce weight, increase strength, or address a specific concern such as degradation or yellowing from UV exposure. Our team also provides materials research, testing, and expertise to other departments, including ride and show engineering and animatronics.

Many of our designs are complex in ways that aren’t immediately obvious to the casual observer. Our pieces need to meet weight, strength, and durability specifications, as well as aesthetic and comfort standards. In addition, we need to keep in mind that park guests will interact with our pieces, so the costumes need to not only look right, they also need to “feel” right. For example, a composite piece designed to look like metal also needs to feel like metal. If a guest taps on it, it needs to “ping” like metal.

I have had such a great time working here! Every day I get to work “hands on,” and the projects are each unique. I have learned a lot about different processes and materials, as well as to develop prototypes. I wish I could stay longer, but I have chosen to go back to school and will be pursuing my M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University beginning September 2013.


Dying to Make Cars

Laura graduated from OSU in May 2013.  Here, Laura tells us what she’s been doing in her first two months on the job.   While a student in Materials Science and Engineering, Laura focused her studies on polymers.

I am currently working for Honda of America Mfg, Inc. in Marysville, Ohio. Operations at the Marysville Auto Plant include stamping, plastics, welding, painting, sub-assembly and assembly.

The two current models produced are the Honda Accord and the Acura TL. I am a part of the Engineering Development Program (EDP), a 2-year rotational program throughout various departments in Honda. The goal of the EDP is to develop fundamental engineering skills through manufacturing tasks/activities/goal setting and to learn/apply root cause analysis.

Laura at Honda

Laura doing a dimensional accuracy scan on an Accord fender.

My first rotation is in Die Maintenance and consists of understanding how dies work by monitoring top cracking parts using strain analysis and dimensional accuracy tools such as coordinate measurement machines (CMM) as well as supporting die maintenance and quality. My second rotation is in Finishing/Model and consists of die design and simulation, strain analysis, and reverse engineering. My third rotation is in the Materials Lab and consists of various testing capabilities and quality control.

After my rotations are completed, my end job will be in my home department, Forming, as a Quality Engineer. The Forming Department has two parts; stamping and plastics. Stamping is a sheet metal forming manufacturing process that creates metal parts in the desired form. The plastics side of the forming department uses plastic injection molding to create the desired plastic parts.  My end job focuses on the stamping side. I will be responsible for some of the following roles; identifying issues and determining root causes, quality concerns, mature dies and parts, analyze part form-ability, forming issues, monitoring supplier material properties, and material testing.


Focus on Biomaterials

Berk graduated from OSU MSE in 2009 with a focus on Biomaterials.  Here is his update.

I currently work for Zimmer, which is one of the largest medical device and orthopedic companies in the world. Overall the company does roughly $4 billion dollars in sales revenue annually.  The company mainly specializes in the creation, development, manufacture and sale of orthopedic instruments and implants.

I started in January 2010 after my résumé was found through Ohio State’s Engineering Career Services (ECS) and I was asked to join a new training program specifically for engineers and science majors. The idea was to place engineers into the field as technical sales consultants for orthopedic surgeons during surgery. My training consisted of 6 months of classroom, cadaveric and field training to learn our product line, competitor product lines, basic anatomy, and medical terminology.

More about Zimmer in this video.

After training I joined Zimmer Ohio and have worked in Northeast Ohio since then. Our main role is to introduce customers to our various products, explaining the benefits of their use for the hospital, surgeon, and patient. Once a surgeon starts using our product we are expected to be in surgery on a day to day basis helping the staff and surgeon with any questions, and anticipating their needs to make the surgery run more efficiently, therefore reducing O.R. time, blood loss, and potential cost to the hospital.

A sales associate and consultant for a product being used in live surgery is expected to be the expert in the room on the product. If any issues come up you have to be quick on your feet to problem-solve and come up with a valid solution. This job is not a typical engineering job, and there is a lot of customer interaction and high stress involved — but that’s what can make it pretty fun and exciting!

The technical knowledge I gained at Ohio State as an MSE student helps me to effectively communicate the differences and benefits between our products at Zimmer with those of our competition. Surgeons appreciate my engineering background and often ask for my help because of it.


MSE Alumnus update

Aaron graduated in 2012, and sends us an update on his work in the Air Force.

I currently work as a hardware engineer under AFNWC/NCM at Tinker AFB, which is the Air Force cruise missile System Program Office for the AGM86. Our office is responsible for representing the Air Force program management side of the AGM86 and all support equipment. We do a lot of engineering coordination with Boeing who is the designer and producer of the missile; they also maintain the majority of the rights to the technical data for the system.

Aaron W. - OSU MSE 2012

Aaron W. – OSU MSE 2012

My primary job is to provide engineering support for the field units who perform regular maintenance on the system. I am also the engineering lead on a ~$90-million service life extension program that involves upkeep and refurbishment of several internal components.

Due to the lack of materials engineers in the Air Force I am the acting materials evaluation and substitute lead in my office and I research and qualify non-configuration changing material replacements (which is somewhat important as our missile is 30 years old and some of the original materials don’t exist anymore).

I have several smaller pet projects that include material aging analysis on our airframe and several academic coordination projects. Since our system is in sustainment mode and there are no regular manufacturing or engineering efforts, engineering work is fairly random and there are very few reoccurring efforts, although existing efforts are typically drawn out over several years so I will not be able to see one from start to finish.

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