Jill Meacham, ’13, is receiving a crash course in automotive heating and cooling systems in her first three weeks as a summer intern in the Advanced Systems Department at Delphi in Lockport.
“Delphi is extremely specialized and it takes time to learn how all of the components work and fit together,” Meacham says. “I did not walk into the internship with much knowledge on heating and cooling systems, especially specific to cars.
“However, everyone has been extremely helpful. I would say the most fun is getting to do a lot of very hands-on testing and assembly of different portions of the projects,” she says.
Meacham, a mechanical engineering major, says she wishes she had more hands-on experience in engineering before starting her internship, in addition to the theory-based classes she has taken.
“Although, I am very glad that I just finished taking Heat Transfer, Fluids & Thermal Lab, and the Basic Mechanical Fabrication class,” Meacham says. “These three classes definitely prepared me for this internship the most.”
Meacham says her first day was intimidating, and involved a lot of paperwork, a tour of the facility, and an orientation with another new intern. She is working on three main projects at Delphi: testing and implementation of a new evaporator used to keep the cabin of start-stop vehicles cooler longer, running some of the testing on a component of the A/C system in a project sponsored by the Department of Energy and learning a new software which she will use to perform Finite Element Analysis on various projects.
“The really cool thing about this internship is that I am getting to help in all aspects of the design process from the analytic side to hands-on testing and building of prototypes. Some of the internship is also left up to me to find out what interests me the most and get involved with those projects. It's great having the chance to explore different aspects of what Delphi is working on.”
Meacham says she used a UR alumni connection to land her internship, after spending several months responding to online postings with no success.
“I got a list of UR alumni working as engineers in the Buffalo area on LinkedIn through the career center and sent an email to each of them asking about internships along with sending my resume. I did this in mid-May and heard back surprisingly quickly from Delphi. Within a couple days I had a 30-minute phone interview and received the internship offer the next day.
“It all worked out pretty quickly once I found a company that I had some connection with and liked my resume,” she says. “I'm very happy that I found this internship and I hope to learn some practical engineering skills that I can take with me. So far I am finding this internship far more interesting than I initially anticipated. It's been a really cool experience so far.”