Students & Faculty

Jacob A. Meyer – 2019 Steel Internship Scholar

I would first like to thank AIST for giving me the opportunity to work at Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) — Roanoke Bar Division and to gain even more useful knowledge in my field of study, mechanical engineering technology. Likewise, I would like to thank AIST for helping relieve the financial burden of tuition that typical college students deal with on a daily basis. I’ve now been interning for Steel Dynamics for four summers and each summer has been impactful in its own way.

I have been able to directly see my impact as an intern not only in the office with the interactions I have with other staff, but with the process, machinery and layout of the facilities within the plant during each of my internships. Overall, Steel Dynamics has been an amazing team to work with and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. I would also like to thank SDI for not making me a coffee getting, print scanning intern. Rather, an intern that is able to make an everlasting impact.

As this was my second summer internship with the Roanoke Bar Division and within the first week, I was given the continuation of a project I had worked on the previous summer which consisted of removing a crumbling bridge on site. With this project, I designed and modeled the removal process of the bridge so it could be done safely and effectively without damaging machinery or putting any workers in danger. This summer I also worked closely with the on-site fabrication shop and this was one of the most crucial parts of my education as an engineer. When you work alongside people who take your drawings and fabricate them from scratch, you start to think like a fabricator. Consequently, when you think like a fabricator, you start to understand how things need to be drawn, dimensioned, welded, etc. that way it is easier for them to make. Working with them changed how I went about my workflow in computer-aided design (CAD) modeling. Along with all that, this summer I saw my communication skills grow and improve tremendously.

I have learned more than I ever did in the classroom with the internships I’ve had with SDI. Classroom work is a great foundation, but doing an internship teaches you so much more because you face challenges that make you grow as an engineer and as a person in general. I am a person that learns better with hands-on experience in general, and being put into a real situation and this internship was just that!

After having three years of school under my belt, a summer at Steel Dynamics’ Butler Flat Roll mill and now two here in Roanoke, 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. I’ve now seen flat roll and bar products being produced, two processes that are alike while being completely different in their own way. When you see two steel making processes, you can start to see the full picture of how important the steelmaking business is in the world. I’ve known steel making my whole life as I have family members that have worked in steel mills. I can say with confidence that following graduation this year, I would like to further pursue a career in the steel industry.