Connor Anderson – 2019 Steel Intern Scholar
This past summer I had the opportunity to work with great engineers, mechanics and electricians within the maintenance crew at Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc. The most crucial skill I learned this summer was the importance of workplace safety with the everyday tasks we perform in the steel industry. From day one this was emphasized to me through the actions of my coworkers and the efforts of Nucor, but most specifically the maintenance crew which conducted daily safety and reporting meetings in the mornings to brief all teammates of incidents both injury and production related. These meetings focused on preventative actions and proactive solutions we can all take to ensure safety day in, day out, to work at our fullest potential. This was all very important for me as an intern because it was the first time I was introduced to truly hazardous situations in a work environment and started to fully understand the importance of leaving work in the same condition as we arrived. This was clearly articulated to me with the use of protective equipment, gear and processes.
From a technical standpoint, my focus at Nucor was on computer aided design and drafting, where I learned to apply my engineering skills to immediately solve high priority issues within the steel manufacturing process. I worked closely with two mechanical engineers who mentored me during my time here and allowed me to quickly learn from their work expertise at Nucor to improve my work performance on my individually assigned projects. I worked on projects which required a similar skillset to my coworkers and I believe my work — though challenging — added value through positive impacts which contributed to the success of the Seattle mill. My mindset has changed through the experiences I have had during my time at Nucor as I chose to think more proactively and viewed engineering problems as an opportunity to enhance the flow of productivity in the mill. This was achieved with the assistance of the many new technical skills I acquired from both shadowing other teammates and collaborating with others to solve problems given to me and working through them with intention. This internship has pushed me to apply my critical thinking skills to tangible problems through innovating new solutions which I saw applied to the mill, adding value to the company.
Some of the exciting positions I was given at Nucor was in the shadowing process where I spent time with teammates from all different facets of the steel making process and learned where their role fit in the wholistic goal of creating high quality rebar for our customers. I was given the opportunity to work with the chemical laboratory technicians, where they manipulated the quantity of different elements and materials in the steel to meet our high-quality demand, which was my first introduction to the metallurgical process at Nucor. I was also able to watch pulpit operators for both the melt shop and rolling mill, where I witnessed the melting of scrap steel in the arc furnace, and the rolling and cutting of the rebar into its final form. I also shadowed quality control and witnessed the testing of the tensile strength of the rebar to ensure the integrity of the steel is to the level demanded of Nucor Steel. These additional shadowing opportunities allowed me to gain a well-rounded understanding of Nucor’s manufacturing process.
In full, my internship with Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc. was filled with growth and a better understanding of the steel making process. It also helped me gain an understanding of how it can be done safely and efficiently to make high quality steel shipped to many different parts of the world, affecting millions of people.