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.


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MSE Honda Internship and Winner

Summer internship report from Kelvin, MSE 3rd-year.

I spent the past few months interning at Honda R&D Americas Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, and my experience was great. Honda produces primarily automobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs. The work I do involves the quality of paints applied to the vehicles.

Dr. Nitin Padture and Kelvin

I learned the many meticulous tests that go into choosing paint (base, coat, and primer) from suppliers for current and future vehicles. Before a paint combination can be put into mass production, it must meet all durability and quality requirements set by Honda. Selected paints must be able to withstand the daily abuse of a car such as acid rain and pelting of small rocks. I also aided associates with projects outside of my main research area when possible. This involved going to factories to run tests, preparing test samples, or shipping items to suppliers. Some of the most interesting things I did involved taking measurements in essentially a car oven/freezer at -30°C and 80°C.

I stayed at an off-campus apartment at Ohio State this summer, which gave me a 45-minute drive to work. I could arrive anytime from 6:00-10:00 AM, so the long window of clock-in time definitely helped for the mornings I hit snooze for an hour or two past my expected departure time. I had a few hours of time to myself after work so I decided to take up softball with our department team. I am not necessarily a baseball fan but softball was enjoyable. Most of my co-workers were under 30 years old and this made it extremely easy for me to get along with them.

This summer internship has provided me with valuable work experience that will be useful as I continue at OSU and after graduation. It gave me a taste of what the real world will be like after college. I would encourage all to take an internship if they have the chance. It will pay off greatly in the future.

NOTE: Kelvin was on the winning team for the Materials category in the Honda iDream student competition this summer.  He is pictured here with his faculty and project advisor Prof. Nitin Padture.


Vote for your favorite team in the Honda iDream Student Challenge.  OSU Materials and Welding Engineering students represent in the Materials category!

Team Project List here.


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