School: Milwaukee School of Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Company: J.F. Brennan
Internship from June 1, 2016 — September 7, 2016
I was fortunate to hold an intern position at J.F. Brennan. I was given exposure to many different sectors of the company, but I worked most closely with the dive and survey teams. Through my internship, my passion for my eventual career as an Ocean Engineer grew.
As an intern, I was asked to assist on multiple jobsites including: topographic and drone surveys at a pre-dredge site, sector scanning of a Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River, sector scanning of hydro-electric power plants, single beam surveys, and multibeam surveys. All of these field opportunities allowed me to see pre, post, and present construction through surveying methods.
Everyday I learned new and useful information from my mentors throughout the dive and survey departments. My knowledge of marine construction has grown substantially in my time as an Intern. Being able to go to all the different types of jobsites and perform the survey work first-hand has allowed me to find my career passion of Ocean Engineering.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
During my internship, I increased efficiency for employees by digitizing an array of dive forms into fillable forms. I uploaded these forms onto the HCSS software. The dive personnel in the field were then able to fill out the necessary forms from their jobsite through the HCSS app on their mobile devices. By not only increasing efficiency, the accuracy of data collection improved with the instantaneous data input for records.
My ability to quickly learn on the job allowed me to assist on an array of field jobs. Visiting the different jobsites and performing sector scans, single beam surveys, and multibeam surveys has allowed me to be an active team member in the field as well as in the office.
My main project of the summer was to create a fairing for a piece of our multibeam survey equipment. The intention of the project was to reduce the drag on the piece of survey equipment thus, allowing survey speed to increase as well as obtaining cleaner data. Through my successful fairing design, the multibeam survey performance in construction settings have allowed the company to increase their efficiency on jobs. The amount of success the fairing design had has interested competing companies so much so that they have requested the same fairing for their own use. The outside attention my design has brought was initially unintentional, but now there is very promising growth of my design to be brought large scale. This is a huge opportunity for myself in taking the next steps as burgeoning engineer as well as providing great exposure for J.F. Brennan.
I achieved above and beyond what I would have imagined at my internship this summer. J.F. Brennan provided me with an unforgettable learning experience that brought me beyond the classroom and allowed me to truly explore my studies.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
The atmosphere is everything in a company. I felt a part of the groups’ effort from day one. There was recognition on all levels of others’ work and a collective celebration of the success achieved. I now know the type working environment I plan to begin my career in.
My mentors exhibited dedication in their own careers as well as helping me learn. I aim to embody that same dedication in my own studies as well as in my career. Through my workplace setting, I have gathered the mindset to be successful in industry and conduct myself professionally.
Through my fairing project, I was able to see how the refining of a practice greatly improved the companies efforts. I have now found my focus in my mechanical engineering studies as well as my eventual ocean engineering studies; which is underwater instrumentation. I want to re-think conventional designs of the current instrumentation as well as develop new, greener, refined instrumentations to be used in a multitude of applications such as construction, in the case of my internship at J.F. Brennan.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Safety is reverend as one of the keys to the companies success. I was continually involved in safe practices during my field experiences at jobsites. I took proper training courses online as well as on jobsites to ensure the safety protocol of each jobsite was understood and implemented. With safety placed above all other facets of the companies work, I was able to hold myself and those around me accountable for working safely. The whole team was on board to create a safe working environment. Construction can be a very dangerous job, but with the esteemed focus on safety, I felt adequately prepared to avoid any harmful situations as well as act appropriately should an incident occur. My perspective has heightened in regards to the importance of safety in everything that occurs in the workplace, especially a construction workplace. I have realized that many injuries are preventable by a keen awareness of potential hazards and the institution of specific, pre-planned measures of safety concerns for each job site.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America means that I take pride in the value I bring to the nation through my work in the construction industry. I may only be one small individual, but through the I Build America platform, I see a community of construction workers and supporters building up America to acknowledge and share how construction continually shapes our daily lives.
I have learned that construction work is a very purposeful and rewarding career opportunity. By sharing my experience working in construction, I hope I am able to bring light to the public’s eye of the importance construction has in our modern life as well as inspire others to take on a position in the construction industry.