|engineering in my spare time with an old mini|
In the summer between my third and fourth year studying Mechanical Engineering I was offered an internship at a Tribosonics in Sheffield. The company was set up by a former PhD student from the University of Sheffield and employs a handful of graduates from the university.
Tribosonics provide a variety of ultrasonic monitoring systems for a wide range of things. Their motto is that they have solutions looking for problems. It was because of this that I think I gained so much more from the six weeks I spent there than I ever could have imagined.
Far from the stereotypical intern (there to do everything other people didn’t want to do and make the tea) I was given my own project so was hands on at every stage. From conducting research and literature reviews to designing and carrying out experiments, it was my responsibility to decide the next step in getting a new product off the ground. This was a very steep learning curve to what I had been used to during my time at university when you are given specific tasks to do and a specific set of requirements.
Although it was a big responsibility and hard work, it was much more rewarding when I collected and presented results knowing that this was something I had set up and worked on; and knowing that it could be a solution to a real life problem. This was a different experience to uni lab classes when you collect data simply to discover something you always knew was going to happen.
I have always believed that the best way to learn is by doing things, not by reading about them or being told about them. I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity to do an internship or work experience if they get are offered it.Working as an intern broadens your experience of engineering. As there were never more than three placement students in the office at once I learned far more than I would have done in a class of over 100 people with one lecturer. It gave me the opportunity to pick the brains of experts in the field of ultrasonic measurement every day. It also meant I had the chance to learn skills such as machining that there simply isn’t time to fit into the packed schedule of an engineering undergraduate.
I have always believed that the best way to learn is by doing things, not by reading about them or being told about them. I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity to do an internship or work experience if they get are offered it. Not only do you learn so much I had such good fun at Tribosonics! I met some great people and decided to stay involved with the company by working with them on my final year project. I think it showed how much all the interns enjoyed it when one morning the three of us were all stood outside the office waiting for someone to let us in! I feel privileged to have been able to study a subject that allowed me to work somewhere which made me happy to get up and go to work every day.
I am a fourth year student in the department of mechanical engineering. My degree course is Motorsport Engineering Management and my interest in engineering is in the automotive industry, particularly engine technology.