Name: Kristoffer Hamilton
Type of Project: Internship
- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
I worked at Honeywell Aerospace as an engineering intern. I was assigned projects and performed tasks in collaboration with the full-time engineering team.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
My manager gave me more responsibilities in this internship than in the previous year. The largest of those responsibilities was a research project to find a qualified cheaper alternative electrical connector component for future designs and/or replacing them in existing designs. I collaborated with mechanical and electrical engineers as well as technicians and designers, but all this collaboration still left plenty of room for me to makes mistakes and hit snags. It left me with a new confidence in working on things I was unfamiliar with, because even expert engineers, with years more experience than me, did not foresee many of the issues, but were supportive of my efforts for just continuing onwards.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
I enjoyed taking soldering training with one of the other interns at my site, Jake. We were both excited to get to learn a new hands on skill, and then also got to spend days working using that new skill, soldering together the connections for my test rig to check the quality of the connector candidates I had chosen. We did literally hundreds of solder connections, it made our training worth it. Learning a new skill in order to put together testing equipment that I needed for my project was a beneficial experience and made better by having a partner to work with.
This last summer I was also the only intern that had already had an internship at Honeywell, so it was also different having the other interns come to me as a somewhat more experienced person at the site. On a few occasions I had Stefan, one of the interns come to me and ask for help doing the 3D modeling for a part he was working on then asked who to go to have the modified part printed on the company’s 3D printer. I was proud to get to use the skills I had picked up the previous year doing hundreds of 3D models and help out another intern on his project troubleshooting a product’s defects.
I had good relationships with many of the people at the company, but I think that the influx of younger people at Honeywell Urbana, as well as a second year there and hence more familiarity with the company and work, I started having a friendly relationship with the other employees at the company and feeling more like a colleague than just an intern. The gradual nature of this feeling did not have any single event, but things like going out to lunch on Friday’s, foosball in the rec room, and chatting on break time. It may seem like an insignificant thing, but I would feel confidant asking everyone I worked with for a reference, and that is a valuable thing.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.
Learning new skills like soldering, 3D modeling, researching and testing products don’t have much personal value, but they certainly skills that some employers will look for and make me a more employable person. This is valuable of course in searching for a job after college.
Gaining insights into corporate culture, working in an engineering team at a large company, and gaining confidence in myself even in work I am unfamiliar with. These are more valuable to me personally. These are somewhat important in making me a better future employee, but I find them more important to me, just to know how to for deciding at what kinds of places I would want to work at in the future.
It ended up pretty messy with all the wires, but this was the heat sink we used. It held 100 LEDs to to visually show whether the connections for the electrical connectors stayed secure throughout the environmental stress testing.
This was a part that I designed to be utilized as a fit check gage for helicopter searchlights. This one was needed as a readjustment to the former check gage after the searchlights were redesigned.