Internship Field: Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Location: Blankenfelde-Mahlow (Dahlewitz), close to Berlin
Duration: 3 months in summer of 2015
Description: "My main project was to convert a program from Excel into an easy to use, and faster, MATLAB program. The original program required them to take at least a day to complete the process and required the use of two additional softwares and transferring the data between all of these. It was my goal to streamline it all and make it so that everything could be done at once.
To do this, I was initially given information about Airmeters and the tests, the laboratory instruction manual, and the information and data on past tests completed. I spent time looking at all of this, become familiar with the process, and become familiar with the test. One of my favorite parts was getting to examine an Airmeter and watch them run actual engine tests. After this, I was taught how to understand the RRD network and how to access MATLAB.
From there, it was up to me to work through the calibration process, and implement each step into MATLAB code. Then, I had to create an interface to run the program and make it into a Standalone Executable, which means it can be run without having MATLAB on your computer.
Once the program was created, it was my duty to test it against the previous tests and new tests. A colleague and I would perform the test the old way and with my MATLAB tool and then compare results. I had to write a report and present on the results, as well as develop next steps. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to take the results to the Performance Department for a final approval."
Comments: "I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge about and confidence using MATLAB. I am far more comfortable with the program than I had been coming into this and trust that I can use it to its full capabilities. This will be useful both in classes and if I ever want to come back to this industry, as MATLAB is a key tool in many aerospace and mechanical processes. RRD has a whole department that works almost solely with MATLAB. I am also far more confident in my ability to work through and understand processes I had never been exposed to before.
My internship was a wonderful introduction to the aerospace industry and big company work. It was the first time I had worked with such a large, world-wide company and it gave me an idea of how politics, budgets, and organization worked. It was also extremely interesting to learn about the relations RRD had with the companies it worked with and contracted. It also gave me the opportunity to experience different aspects of engine testing and to get to know and learn from people who had been in the industry for years and were eager to help. I feel like the connections I made will be of great help in the future."
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