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Mechanical Engineering Intern
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

My passion in nuclear power dictated my steps in applying for this program. I believe that the experience I obtained during the internship will represent a major step forward in understanding the nuclear industry. Furthermore, I consider that a prepared person can make a positive change in the world and I know that by working side by side with the engineers from NuScale Power I can make that change. I am feeling responsible for the decisions I make but also for the other people’s safety. Therefore, I have to make sure I am prepared and understand how any nuclear power plant is thought from the beginning and not just how it is working. By doing so, I consider that nothing can surprise me as an engineer and I can show to the others that they can rely on my work. I consider NuScale Power’ small modular reactor represent a step forward in the nuclear industry and by working at its developing will prepare me for my future career and so I am grateful to the company that they gave me this opportunity.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Student Jobshop advert

Application process

The application process consisted of the following: CV, cover letter, transcript form the University of Sheffield and another letter where you should say why you would like to work for NuScale Power. I believe that only if you are really interested to make a difference in nuclear power, then you should apply for this project. They are not looking for already experienced engineers, but for students who are ready to learn and try to evolve.

Main responsibilities

My main responsibility is to validate engineering data from experiments with theoretical ones by using ANSYS CFX to model the systems and analyse the results.

Typical day

My typical day starts by analysing the data I obtained from the simulation during the night and make engineering assumptions for any necessary change in the process to obtain the most realistic results. Furthermore, I model the new modified system and start the simulation once again until I obtain mesh independence and the results are converged.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I was surprised since the beginning with the new cooling system the company is proposing and the fact I am in the front line with the other engineers who are always trying to improve the current design by conducting experiments and simulations comparing them with theoretical data.
Moreover, I enjoyed the fact that I was sent to a preparing system before I have actually started to work on my projects to make sure that I have the basic knowledge necessary to start working.

Challenging aspects

The first challenge I found was changing my home far away from my family and friends but fortunately the NuScale employees were always there to show me how beautiful and how many interesting activities can be done in Oregon.
Secondly, during my work I found it difficult at the beginning to understand the new process the company is proposing as in this day and age most of nuclear power plants work using forced convection instead of natural circulation.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

The University of Sheffield provided me with the necessary knowledge about simulations using ANSYS which helped me to understand how I have to model the systems. Moreover, I was thought about heat transfer processes and the thermodynamic process that governs the flow in the background.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Honestly, I have always been pensioned about nuclear power as I believe this represents the solution for future developing of the world. Even though, NuScale Power provided me the chance to open my eyes that there will always be new methods of creating nuclear energy and is our responsibility as nuclear engineers to find the most reliable and safe options for everybody because I want to believe that we are responsible for tomorrow’s light.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Never wait for the others to tell you when you are ready to assume responsibility for your work. Let yourself driven by your passion and then you will realise that you can go above your expectations in terms of your professional career. Finally, you should know that you are not studying and work for other people, you are doing everything for yourself and your loved ones so be ready to make a change.

Other comments

As a last comment, I would like to express my gratitude to the University of Sheffield and its staff for all their support during my course and for showing us that there are no boundaries in engineering.
Also, I want to thank NuScale Power’ employees for being beside me at any problem I have had during my projects.

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Form completed: 10 Sep 2017

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