Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Co-op Program for Mechanical Engineers:

• Mechanical engineers can start a co-op as early as their second semester, sophomore year. Students complete three alternating rotations and can gain three credits towards a technical elective, provided that a technical paper is submitted to the department at the end of completing all three rotations.

• Students with mechanical engineering knowledge can gain co-op experience in many industries, including but not limited to: automotive, aviation, manufacturing, design, testing, energy, and nuclear.

Department Information:

The co-op faculty advisor is Dr. William Slaughter. He can advise and approve co-op schedules for undergraduates in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.
All students enrolled in the Co-Op Education Program are required to maintain an up-to-date co-op schedule with the Co-Op Education Program Office and the department.

The co-op technical paper should include the following criteria:

1. Follow a technical report format.
2. Maximum length of 10 pages.
3. Describe your co-op work experiences.
4. Give particular details of the nature of work performed.
5. Describe the relationship between your work experiences and your academic experiences. Indicate specific courses that were particularly useful.
6. Make any suggestions on how to improve the operation of the program.
Previous co-op technical papers may be viewed in the undergraduate program office (648 Benedum Hall). Technical paper submission deadlines are as follows:
Summer Term: August 2, 2010
Fall Term: December 10, 2010
Spring Term: April 22, 2011

What ME students are saying about their co-ops:

“My assignment is going very well. I have a lot of work that challenges me, but nothing that is too far over my head. I am a part of several different projects and work with a lot of different groups…..most of the work is at my level of engineering understanding, and if I do have trouble with something I have multiple mentors that I can see to clarify things…..”

- James Smoyer, Curtiss-Wright EMD

“I am really getting an understanding of what a working engineer does and all the different job roles they can take on and it has been so much more helpful than any seminar I have attended. So far this has been an extremely valuable experience and I am looking forward to up coming assignments.”

-Spencer Samstag, First Energy

“At first, I had to obtain a good deal of information and although I understood what was going on and how it related to material I have learned over the past two years, I found it a challenge to remember everything that goes on and how it works in a system. After six weeks of my co-op I obviously do not know everything but have learned so much and feel more confident in the work I’m doing. It has been difficult at times but not unexpectedly. It has truly been a good leaning experience which is exactly what I wanted to gain.”

- Andrew Collins, Emerson Process Management

“My assignment is actually not what I expected it to be, but this has definitely been for the better. The work is challenging, worthwhile, and I am learning more than I ever could have imagined. Things have really turned out great.”

- Trevor Thompson, EATON Corporation

“It is going great! I love what I’m doing; it’s pushing me to be a better engineer and I’m being helped to achieve that.”

- Dan Westover, Curtiss-Wright

“Yes, my assignments are going great! I have various assignments going on at one time, some in which have been completed that involve LEAN manufacturing. My manager is doing a great job trying to prepare me for a future interview with the company.”

- Matthew Kaminski, GE Transportation

I’m very pleased that our school has this type of program. It is a wonderful learning experience plus it allows you to figure out if this is what you want.”

- Dimitri Novickoff, Greensburg Thermal LLC

"The company I worked for challenged me in ways unlike those in school, and I had to learn not only to complete my projects in a timely manner but also to present the results to management."

-Eddie Halusic, BMW Manufacturing