Landon J. Pearson - 2017 Steel Intern Scholar
Thanks to the AIST Steel Intern Scholarship, I have completed my second internship within Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) as an intern mechanical engineer. The hands-on projects and the amazing co-workers are what brought me back to the steel industry, specifically SDI. This term I was very fortunate to be a part of the Butler Flat Roll Group’s cold mill team for seven months. During my time in the cold mill, I gained invaluable experience through several projects that advanced my problem-solving skills and furthered my understanding of the steel industry. My main project was to implement a computer-based preventive maintenance program for the galvanizing lines, as well as the state-of-the-art paint line. As a result of my work, the company will have real-time data that can be recorded and used to plan and expect maintenance on equipment. Such knowledge was not tracked before, but now my contributions to the computer-based program will allow users to select even the smallest bearing on a complex machine and inspect its maintenance history.
An additional crucial project was designing a movable work platform for the operators to safely work from on the furnace of the galvanizing line. Acting as project manager, there were several challenges I faced from design, to contractor consulting and, most importantly, operator input. One big takeaway from this project was the working relationship that I had forged with my co-workers. Getting the operators’ input on what they needed for a work platform was critical to the project’s success. In the end, I designed a safe and effective movable work platform.
My day-to-day operations included thoroughly learning each production line, forming and enhancing equipment operator relationships, and general production-related engineering projects.
Looking back at my internship, it is clear to me that I was destined to have a career in the steel industry. I had more fun than one would think is possible in a steel mill, most likely because the industry backbone can be summarized as “hard work, innovation and determination results in pride in your world-class products.”
AIST has positively impacted my life by motivating me to pursue a career in the steel industry. Receiving the Steel Intern Scholarship was a huge help in continuing my undergraduate studies at Trine University. I plan to return to the industry after I complete my final year at Trine University.