As I approached my final semester at Iowa State University, I was focused on securing a job before graduation. As I returned from a co-op position, I was getting adjusted back to school and enrolled in the mechanical engineering capstone design class. The capstone allows a team of students to partner with an outside organization, tackle a problem addressed by the company, and identify a solution. Our team chose to work with United Equipment Accessories (UEA).
The problem presented by UEA was figuring out how to automate brush riveting. This proved to be a challenging project as it really pushed our team to think differently to solve a complicated process. I was impressed by how UEA was adopting technology to improve efficiency while not replace human input. It was clearly stated by UEA how they wanted their workers to control the process via automation; this was only a supplement, not a substitute.
Over the course of the semester, our team collaborated with UEA engineers to finalize our project. It included a 3-station line with an arm dispenser, position fixer, automated riveter and conveyor belt. This project with UEA allowed me to apply everything I had learned from my time at Iowa State as well as my experiences at my internships and co-ops.
During our final team meeting with UEA, Thor Larson, UEA engineering manager, informed our team about an R&D engineer opening at UEA. After working with the company for six months, I was excited about the opportunity to join the UEA team. I decided to apply for the position, and after our final project presentation, I was informed that I was selected for the position. After working with the UEA team on my capstone project, it was an easy decision to pick UEA.
Overall, my experience at UEA has been nothing short of excellent. UEA is rapidly evolving and expanding to meet market demand. The projects that I work on seek to problem solve as well as look to what might be possible in the future.
I appreciate Iowa State University and United Equipment Accessories for providing me with this opportunity.