Students & Faculty

Kenneth J. Stas – 2019 Steel Internship Scholar

This past summer was my second internship with Carpenter Technology in Latrobe, Pa. USA. This time, I moved departments from the plant to the finishing side. Last summer I learned about primary operations, but in this internship everything was completely different and it took a while to get used to. My main roles as an engineering intern were assisting with maintenance at our Mesta Press, Var 1, Mobile Equipment and Overhead Cranes. A few specific projects I worked on include redesigning the loading process of a cut off saw as a result of an OSHA recordable hand injury.

First, I added guarding to prevent operators from reaching into the infeed table when the round is being placed. I also installed a hydraulic cylinder for manipulating work pieces on the table to ensure the operation is done completely hands free. I modeled the machine, guarding and cylinder and checked my design with maintenance technicians and production workers. I was also working with a couple of different outside cylinder vendors to see what products they had and what would work the best in my design. During this project I learned the importance of communication and how to communicate effectively. There was constant communication between my supervisor, mechanics, material vendors, cylinder vendors and myself. It was a great experience because I was able to head the project as an intern. Another major project I worked on was assisting with the rebuild of a cooling tower for our vacuum arc remelting (VAR) furnaces. It’s a Marley cooling tower and I was able to learn how this style of tower works.

My job for this project was to contact the contractor doing the job and go over the scope of work. I then relayed the information to our mechanics to determine what needed to be done in preparation. Also, I worked with the safety department to cover areas such as tie off points, confined space and permits, and testing paint for lead content to prepare for sandblasting. Lastly, before the work began, I showed the foreman around the plant and we developed plans to move material and bring in trucks to the job site. We also inspected all material for the job to make sure everything was on site and in good condition. Again, communication was key on this project. In addition, I learned about safety regulations such as what qualifies as a tie off point and how to deal with working in a confined space. I also had several other smaller projects that each had different learning experiences such as design work, safety and emergency repair.

Overall, I really enjoyed my internship at Carpenter Technology and I believe I made a positive impact. Since this was my second rotation with Carpenter, I was able to learn a lot more about the downstream process of producing steel and working in a complex manufacturing environment in general. I want to give a big thank you to Darrell James, my supervisor, and the maintenance department for challenging me everyday and allowing me to experience this work environment.