Students & Faculty

Jacob Meyer - 2018 Steel Intern Scholar

I would first like to thank AIST for the opportunity to gain so much useful knowledge in my field of study, mechanical engineering technology, and for also helping to relieve the financial burden that tuition gives a typical college student. Interning for Steel Dynamics Inc. Long Products Group in Roanoke, Va., has been such a great experience for me. I was able to work not only in the office, but alongside a few production workers to gain a better understanding of the mill, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with.
Through my internship period, I wasn’t a coffee-getting, paper-tray-filling intern. I was thrown directly into work, making a lasting impact on the facilities and the company alike. I was tasked with adding new mechanical drawings to our ever-growing database after the plant had just underwent a large expansion. Also, due to the new expansion, our plant drawings had to be revised once pipes were moved, buildings were erected and old structures were torn down. Another large project I was involved with was the replacement of a bridge that goes over the caster. The existing bridge is about 40 years old and is cracking due to the heat of glowing steel passing underneath it. It is still a very crucial part of the plant. One of the hardest parts throughout the internship was communicating with busy vendors and trying to see through the eyes of a structural engineer. I learned very quickly that not all vendors are created equal, and they all have their own way of attacking different tasks.
With each internship I’ve had, I have learned more than I do in the classroom. I am a person that learns better with hands-on experience and being put into a real situation. This internship was just that! After having two years of school under my belt and a summer at Steel Dynamics’ Butler Flat Roll mill, I was able to apply what I learned in school to my internship and still learn a ton along the way. The internship has also opened my eyes to the future. This was my second summer working for Steel Dynamics, and I’ve now seen flat roll and bar products being produced. When you see two steel making processes that are similar yet different at the same time, you can start to see the full picture of how important the steel making business is in the world.
I’ve known steel making my whole life. I have family that’s worked in steel mills for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s such a stable career because it will always be a commodity. I can say with confidence that following graduation I would like to further pursue a career in the steel industry.