Hi, I’m Chris, and I am a senior in Welding Engineering at OSU this year.
This summer I worked for GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio, in my fourth co-op rotation. I worked with a group called Rotating Parts Lean Lab. In other words, I worked on projects that involved developing new manufacturing processes to produce rotating parts for aircraft engines.
Since I am a welding engineer, I spent most of my time working with Linear Friction Welding and Inertia Welding. The coolest part of my co-op is that I got to run the machines that made the welds. Not often does an intern get to run machines that make parts worth more than $200,000 (of course I had an engineer watching me the whole time). I learned lots of interesting things, mostly about solid-state processes.
I spent most of my time refining process parameters and looking at the microstructure of welds. I now have a very good knowledge of what good Inertia and Linear Friction welds look like. The worst part of my job was when my interesting projects were in process outside my area, and I had to do regular desk work like everyone else.
GE is a big company, so there were a lot of interns from different colleges and majors around me. This gave me a chance to talk and meet with a wide variety of people. Being from the only accredited Welding Engineering program in the country, I was asked a lot of questions about my major. I also got to work with other OSU Welding Engineering alumni.
It sometimes surprised me how much everyone wanted to help me learn. Even when they were busy, I could ask mostly anyone and they would explain the project or just answer a question I had.
I don’t think that I could find a better place to learn and grow as a student than at GE Aviation. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to go back full-time when I’m done with school, because I’d love to continue to work there.