I think if I have taken Thermodynamics before, it would have given me an advantage.However, the chemistry and physics classes I have taken were beneficial; when the ideal gas law was mentioned, I understood the concept of one of the graph we collect everyday, which depends on PV = nRT, the ideal gas law.Moreover, I was exposed to the application of electricity, which is taught as the second part of Physics.Whenever my mentor, Todd Stewart, and I discuss the electrical drawing, Instrument Diagram Control (IDC), I worked on, the basic theory of V = IR answered most of my questions.
"Other potential benefits of networking are getting information you need, finding new people for a work team, earning new skills, making new friends, and growing personally" (Salim).I think the above definition basically summarizes the type of benefits of networking.I believe that one is successful if he or she gains the information needed to take the right path to solutions.I was always facing challenges where I had to talk to multiple people to find the right person, who can give me the correct information.Once I get the information I needed, then I make my decisions depending on those information.For instance, I had to ask around to find out to know the density of the polymer we were using for a test.This leads to the next benefit of networking, finding new people for a work team.It is vital to have people to work with who are knowledgeable, dependable, cooperative, and are open minded about others' ideas.As Mimi Donaldson puts it in her article, "If managers [engineers] want people to be productive and happy, they must put time and effort into training themselves and their people in technical skills and communication skills [networking]" (Donaldson).Finally, I think earning new skills can be in the professional and personal development; one can gain the skills that will benefit him or her at their work and at home.For example, I learned how to read P&I drawings, which helped me accomplished my task, and I can also now determine different types of valves.Moreover, I think, in the personal level, networking has helped me improve my communication skills.I realized that I am capable of sharing my ideas and suggestions that can better the system.Furthermore, this allowed me to meet professional engineers, who are willing to help me in furthering my future career.The best part is that these people became more than co-workers, they became new friends; we would do social activities outside work such as fishing, which I really enjoyed.
Donaldson, Mimi."Four Steps To Managing Anyone."The Virginia Engineer.
Salim, Nancy."Engineers: Work on Your Networking Skills."IEEE Lasers & Electro-
Optics Society News.Mar. 2006.
Beneficial Suggestions and Future Projections
Our opinions, as Co-ops, are taken in great consideration to benefit not only the DuPont Co-op program, but also to improve the system.In my case, I was involved closely with working between the engineers and operators.I realized that in order to have a successful and productive day, it is important to have a clear communication between the operators, who prepare the hardware and the research engineer, who suggests the test.I suggested that, because there are more than one kind of hardware use for different tests, all tests utilizing the same hardware should be completed before new hardware is assembled. I convey my boss after I realized that this is an important issue.
This semester has given me some insights to what I want to do for my career. I want to work with technical and process. I think working as a process engineer gives you a variety of challenges every day. Furthermore, there are different problems that arise that need to be solved. This is the type of environment I would like to work in where my solving skills can be applied.
My Responsibilities and Progress
As I mention before, I am working in the Research and Development and Technical Department for DuPont Tyvekï¿½. So I will try to explain much of the tasks I was assigned, but not to mention anything that is proprietary information.
One of my tasks is to update drawings for the test facility. I've worked with As Built before, however, this is different because I was actually comparing what's on the drawing versus what's out in the field. I was given different kinds of drawings I had to work on, and one of them is called Process and Instrumentation Drawing (P&I), and the other is Instrument Diagram Control (IDC). The P&I drawing dealt with one specific area of the facility where changes in the field have been made, and the drawing has to depict those changes for future reference. And the IDC is one of the specific area on the revised P&I drawing. By working on these drawings, I learned how to read Instrumentation diagrams; distinguish symbols for guages, pipes, valves, and drainage. One important skill that will benefit me is gaining the knowledge about how almost everything out in plants are in loop controls. In a more personal level, I learned, from working with these drawings, that it's better to macro manage instead of micro managing. If one looks at the big picture, he/she can determine what action to take next. For instance, I was updating the labels for a certain area in the facility. No matter how hard I "follow" the drawing and the pipes, I could not find the guage I was looking for. Then, I remember what my mentor had told me, step back and try to realize what you're trying to do/looking for, and what you've done so far that didn't help you at all. Therefore, I stopped myself and thought about the loop control (input, controller and output). Then, I was able to locate the gauge I was looking for.
Another responsibility of mine is to prefer the test being performed in the test facility. I communicate with the research engineer, who wants to conduct the test, to discuss the purpose of the test, and conditions of the test such as temperature, or pressure. This is the most important step of preferring the test because I want to make sure that the conditions do not exceed the capibilities of the facility, or cause any hazard.
In addition to preferring tests each day, it is also my responsibilities to gather data and samples. I was the first co-op to use the new history data that is now being used. Therefore, I had to learn and understand how each graph can be extracted (there are at least 5 graphs) and write a documentation for future users. Moreover, I had to create a strategy how to extract one of the data using Excel without having to input the same information everytime the data have to be gathered. Now, the samples I collect, we run some tests on them depending on what properties the research engineer is looking for, and I present the results to them.
Compare from my previous term, I think this summer has been really different; my tasks have been more independent. Though revising the drawings is somewhat the same from the tasks I have last semester because it's updating the system, it's still different because I learned how to read mechanical and electrical drawings. In addition, I was able to see the results such as updating the labels in the field. I would say that this semester I have more responsibilities in terms of making sure that I am writing the tests correctly, coordinating the tests, and gathering data.
I also worked on alot of computations for the test write-ups. Mr. Marshall had introduced me to the applications of theories such as conservation of mass. This is really different from my previous semester because I was able to learned the basic principles and able to apply thermodynamics, heat transfer, which are classes I have not taken. So this definitely gives me an advantage because I've seen the "real-wold" applications.
Thought of the day (Please, don't turn in as part of my paper. These are just my thoughts)
I can't believe it's almost the end of the semester. It's definitely a bitter sweet situation. The fun stuff is just beginning; major projects I'm going to miss, which I am now involve in (it means I have to let the new co-op know everything that he/she is going to be involve, which is not a problem). If there is one thing I'm going to miss the most is working with my boss and the test guys. My boss has been there for me since day one, and I'm going to miss getting advise from him, which I will dearly remember because it's something that I would never, ever learn from school :-)
I was sitting today infront of my computer trying to write a passdown for the new co-op, and I came to think that I've been so productive this semester and that I should share what I have learned. However, at the same time, I feel as if I'm going to miss out. It sounds like I'm blubbering about this, but my point is I wish that this semester was longer than 3 months, but there definitely more things for me to learn.
I guess this semester was way better than Fall because not only the scope of my work broadened, but I met so many interesting people, learned how to deal with different people, learned loop controls (haha...I'm definitely going to miss my pop quizzes), managing, but bottom line
My Position Information
Second Term Mechanical Engineering Co-Op.
E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc.
Mrs. Wanita Hlavaty, Co-Op Coordinator.
Mr. Todd Stewart, ATO Engineer, Immediate Supervisor.
Mr. Larry Marshall, Fellow Engineer, Immediate Supervisor.
My First Blog
Since this is my first blog, I would like to give a little bit of background about myself. My name is Rowena Altoveros, and I am currently a sophomore/junior Mechanical Engineering student at Old Dominion University. I was born in the Philippines, and moved here to the United States when I was about eleven years old. I speak two languages (Tagalog and English), and I understand just little bit of Spanish. You might be asking, so why engineering? Well, one of the reasons why I decided to major in engineering is my yearning to know how everything (well almost everything) that surround us work. Mechanical Engineering was my choice because I really enjoy the first part of my Physics class, which involves forces, frictions, etc; it's easier for me to visual forces or tension on strings than visualizing electrons, or magnetic fields (though I thought those were interesting as well).
Working for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. is such a privilege since I am the only Old Dominion University student ever hired as a Co-Op; they mostly hire students from Penn State, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State University. As you probably know, DuPont is widely known for its household products, and of course, the race track driver, Jeff Gordon. In my case, I specifically work for DuPont Tyvekï¿½. You might have seen a new house being built and see that it is wrap by what is called DuPont Tyvekï¿½ HomeWrapï¿½; it is one of our products.
My first semester working as a Co-Op was Fall 05, where I worked in Manufacturing. During that time, I worked closely with all the Engineers, who work and maintain the machines, to complete my projects. This summer, however, I am working in the Research and Development area under the supervisions of Todd Stewart and Larry Marshall.
I am looking forward for rest of the summer learning practicals, meeting new people, and learning new skills (communication, specifically).