Nolan J.M. Clark – 2022 Steel Intern Scholar
This past summer, I completed an internship at the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), which is a university-based manufacturing lab that facilitates a variety of client and academic work, focused on optimizing machining processes. Working in the MMRI as a research assistant this summer was an incredible experience that has helped me to grow my skillset as an engineer. I learned how to design and 3D-model machined components with manufacturing in mind, how to read, write and execute industry-standard machining code for CNC mills and lathes, and how to work with clients to understand their needs with engineering projects.
As a freshman with basic level manufacturing knowledge, coupled with programming and design experience that I had gained in my first year of engineering, I was able to contribute to the design and manufacturing of a commercial medical product.
I engaged in the process of creating prototypes, experimenting with different design configurations, and using trial runs to determine the effectiveness of design refinements. I have also had the opportunity to use material selection, using Stainless steel for components that needed to be strong and machine washable, and using hardened steel bolts to fasten all of our components together.
I was also able to work on a variety of smaller projects within the MMRI, such as machining custom parts for McMaster University Clubs and other projects occurring in the MMRI, all of which required intentional material selection for their function and purpose.
With all the experience that I have achieved from this internship, I have been able to gain more experience with the foundational principles of engineering. These experiences will be invaluable to my future studies and other potential industry experiences.
I would like to thank AIST and the AIST foundation for supporting me in my efforts.