Cooperative Education Opportunities in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineers design and produce machines, robotics, automated production, power generation, research and development, HVAC, mechatronics, and micro machining. Safety, environmental considerations, improved utilization of resources, and new forms of energy conversion need to be taken into consideration. Read below to discover the opportunities that exist for you in:

  • Product Design and Manufacturing
  • Facilities Engineering
  • Energy, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC)

Product Design and Manufacturing

Students work in varied industries, from companies that make pumps to specialty fittings to television satellites to military electronics. Skills that the co-op students develop in these positions include:

  • Computer database systems
  • Machinery design from concept to manufacture
  • Professional communication with co-workers, supervisors, shop personnel, suppliers, and customers
  • General technical writing and documentation of procedures and tests
  • Inspection techniques and various tools equipment used for testing

Major Accomplishments:

  • Designed and drafted a high pressure pump
  • Conducted impact testing on prototypes of a dual chamber syringe
  • Prepared rejection and discrepancy reports. Contacted suppliers about discrepancies and necessary corrective action
  • Created engineering drawings to improve assembly of Solar Array panels on Television Infrared Observation Satellites

Facilities Engineering

Students work in varied industries, from hospitals to pharmaceutical manufacturing to shipping terminals to corporate settings. Skills learned on these jobs include:

  • CAD layouts of rooms, utilities such as heat and air ducts, and electrical systems
  • How to manage and coordinate a project
  • Management and Union relationships

Major Accomplishments:

  • Prepared Construction Estimates
  • Created and updated architectural layouts using AutoCAD
  • Participated in Shut-Down inspection of Uninterrupted Power Supply System
  • Planned maintenance projects, repairs, and responded to emergencies

Energy and HVAC Engineering

Co-op students who work in this area of mechanical engineering have worked for Electric Utilities, consulting firms, equipment design firms, and the U.S. Army. Skills developed on co-op jobs in these areas include:

  • Performance of heat and cooling load calculations
  • How to size pumps, ducts, chillers and an air handling units
  • Cost estimation of mechanical equipment and systems

Major Accomplishments:

  • Obtained hands on experience with equipment, maintenance and operation of steam turbine and combustion turbine power generation facilities
  • Sized Air Handling Units and Chillers for HVAC Units
  • Conducted site visits to resolve problems and compare layouts with blueprints
  • Tested heat exchanger for coefficients, fin efficiency and pressure drop performance