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A Little Goes A Long Way

Julie

Experience Information

Employer: Hadley Products
Job Title: Engineering Co-op
Major: Engineering - Mechanical
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: Yes

Description of the Organization

Hadley Products is a company which assembles and designs height control valves, horns and mirrors for semi-trucks, buses and other large vehicles.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

The major task of this co-op was the development of a new product. This involved merging new ideas with existing designs. The design process was supplemented with the use of FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to virtually analyze the stress of each component. Before each trial was run, the fundamentals of Solid Mechanics were utilized to compare the theoretical stress calculation with the software generated stress. During this time, I learned how to: fully use the stress plots to estimate future failures, careful material selection, and critically analyze the geometry to reduce material volume and stress. Along with hand calculations and software analysis, I completed testing that would mimic the concept under inquiry.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

I learned how to think like an engineer. The experienced engineers taught me how to assess situations, determine root causes, test theories (physically and theoretically), notice patterns, the ability to break down complex problems and the importance of curiosity. In my opinion, the path from problem to solution is formed from questions.

Favorite Part of the Experience

My favorite part of this co-op was the people. I am thankful to work for the people at Hadley. Each engineer had unique experience and wisdom that they shared with me. In my opinion, this is the ideal co-op company to work for; Hadley fulfilled all tasks required of a co-op employer . The experienced engineers give challenging assignments with adequate resources and truly understand the importance of on-the-job learning. The people of Hadley welcomed me and treated me with respect and kindness. The environment generates comfort and creativity.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

My future career goals have not changed, but the probability of obtaining these goals has significantly increased with the knowledge and experience gained through the co-op semesters at Hadley.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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