College Student Internship

Guy Van Meulebrouck PE consulting engineer sponsored a college engineering student for a summer internship. Timothy Johnson has spent the summer working in an engineering office. The first thing I taught Timothy was the first thing I learned in engineering school: “Engineering is the simultaneous combination of technology, business, and economics toward the solution of a specific problem”.

Timothy at his work station

Of course, the first and second law of engineering were presented: “Keep it Simple (otherwise known as the KISS principle)” and “if it’s not broke-don’t fix it”.

Timothy received hours of instruction in the business side, technical side, and ecomonics side of engineering with ample time to ask questions. Timothy helped out with a marketing program and got an overview of how money moves through the construction process. And of course, the technical side of engineering.

As a result, Timothy is now a student member of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers). Timothy has also started taking online courses from Trane in fundamentals of HVAC engineering and will soon be completing the first course (HVAC Load Calculations). These are accomplishments few college students take advantage of. Timothy is also considering getting trained and registered for LEED (a comprehensive certification program for designing green buildings) while still in college. Way to go Timothy!

Timothy gets a tour of a large chiller/boiler plant during a survey for a new remodel project.
Timothy in front of boiler #2

In addition to participating in an actual field survey to gather information for a remodel design, Timothy got hands on experience servicing a commercial evaporative cooler and even learned how to solder in order to add a shut off valve so that the existing balancing valve didn’t have to be disturbed unecessarily for routine service.

After some experience in learning how to draft for making blueprints, Timothy finally got his first design assignment-reading the appropriate section of the Plumbing Code and then sizing storm piping for a condominium design. This particular storm drain system was part of a rainwater reuse design that satisfies a Los Angeles requirement for Green Buildings. The system diverts and treats rainwater into planter gardens that house water resovoirs underneath the plants where the roots have access to it.

So, it’s back to college for a fall semester. Hopefully Timothy will benefit as a student member of ASHRAE and all the educational opportunities that membership in a professional society brings.

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