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Aldo Fernando
Project Engineer
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I decided to do this placement as I considered that the benefits that I could get from it were the acquisition of knowledge related to the steel manufacturing and processing, the development of skills, new opportunities for personal and professional development. Finally, I could gain invaluable experience in the steel field that I could hopefully be able to apply in the near future in the academic, research and industry.

How did you find your placement/internship?


Application process

At a networking event, I met with the manager of manufacturing and process of Cemuisa and after a long talk about our field of work, I was able to get the invitation for a placement in their company. After that, the process was really easy to follow, they sent me the different projects, in which I selected the widest field. Followed by a series of emails to set dates and activities.

Main responsibilities

During the time in Cemuisa, I was able to work in different areas in which I was responsible for activities such as:The design and modelling of trailers platforms, containers, and compactors through the softwares Solid and CATIA. Characterisation of steel: Once the steel arrived at the factory, it was necessary to test the steel following the standards (i.e) for quality control. Afterwards, the mechanical properties (i.e. tensile strength, weldability, corrosion resistance, toughness, etc.) according to the customer and product specification were verified.Trailers platforms manufacturing: working with different steel manufacturing methods such as machining, joining, heat treatment for the assembly of the trailers platforms and its components. Also, the use of powder coating technique as a steel treatment coating to avoid any type of corrosion.

Typical day

Depending on the area, for instance, manufacturing day:7:00 Arrive at the plant, check the project status, get the material and the blueprints8:00 to 11:00- Field work (update of project status each hour) 11:00 to 11:30 - Break11:30 to 14:00 -Field work 14:00 to 15:00- Lunch 15:00 to 19:00- Filed work, an update of project status, measurements revision, material counting, and status.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

It is difficult to highlight just one activity that I enjoyed during my placement, but I enjoyed the fact that I reached my objectives beyond my expectations, the opportunity to work in different working areas, learn from the specialists, overcome unexpected challenges, and observe how the theory is put into practice.

Challenging aspects

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work in different working areas which brought me exciting challenges in a range of fields and situations. For instance, even that the majority of my duties were considered repetitive, the level of demand and external factors always produced new concerns and issues that needed to be resolved and evaluated before to continue the task undergoing. In this type of situation, there was two to options wait for supervisor or colleagues to give me a solution/support or take my own initiative, analyse the problem, consider the possible solutions, share it with my team, and implemented in a successful way. At the beginning of the placement I opted for the first option, but as I was getting more familiar with the working model of the organisation, I was able to implement the second option in most of the problematic situations, which in the end it was very rewarding.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I am really committed to the Doctoral Development Program that the university offers, in which I have been able to develop skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, time management, etc. During my time at Cemuisa, I cannot think of a moment in which I was not using the skills learned, but if I needed to highlight one skill would be discipline as I think was the key to finished successfully the placement.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

No, but the impact of this experience was of great importance to myself and professional development. I was able to sharpen and develop skills, reinforce my willpower and motivation to become a vanguard researcher and obtain the resources to bring the research into a real application. Also, the placement opened to me the opportunities to expand the field of work and research.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Challenge yourself in as many situations as possible, the road will not be easy, but it will bring you to incredible places and opportunities.

Other comments

Visualise the field that you would like to work in the future, then make a research about the equipment, softwares, and experience that they need in order to get the job. Finally, find the way to get previous knowledge and experience on it, it will give you an advantage in the selection process.

Form completed: 09 Aug 2018

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