Marine Travelift, Inc. recently partnered with the Resch School of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay to bring the first engineering co-op student to the company for a seven-month hands-on experience.
The company has found success with summer internships in the past within different departments including accounting, marketing, engineering, purchasing, even in our warehouse and on our assembly floor.
“The biggest difference between an internship & a co-op is their duration. Students who participate in a co-op typically alternate semesters of academic study with longer periods of paid, full-time work. Internships, on the other hand, are typically short in duration.” – Michelle Waldinger, Director of HR, Marine Travelift/ExacTech Inc.
Will Stuart of Peshtigo, WI, is the mechanical engineering major who was hired for this co-op opportunity which runs from June 2022 through December 2022. He will be working full-time hours for the entire duration.
On his experience over the past few weeks, Will says: “My duties so far at Marine Travelift include working with the designers and engineers on multiple projects, including a custom spreader beam design for an industrial customer out of Tennessee.”
Will has been able to apply several concepts from his classroom study at UWGB to the design process at Marine Travelift. These include static equilibrium equations that were taught in Statics I, beam loading fundamentals, and shear/moment diagrams from Statics I and Machine Component Design. In addition, SolidWorks is a huge part of the design process at Marine Travelift, and in his class on Parametric Modeling at UWGB, Will learned how to use this program.
“The addition of a co-op option opens up a great opportunity for UW-Green Bay’s engineering students to immerse themselves into an industry for an extended time and work on meaningful projects to further their education. You don’t really know what an engineer does and how coursework is applied to real problems until you work in the industry. So, a co-op experience will enhance students’ understanding of the engineering field and make their classroom learning more meaningful. We are very pleased that Marine Travelift is providing this opportunity and that other regional industries are recruiting students for co-ops at their facilities. It is through these partnerships that UW-Green Bay’s engineering program is helping meet the needs of industries and businesses for a technically trained college graduate.” – Patricia Terry, Chair of Resch School of Engineering.
Impact on Career Development
When asked how this co-op experience will help him achieve his career goals, Will said:
“It’s very early in my experience at Marine Travelift, but the engineering department has been very helpful at explaining the design process and challenges of these gantry cranes and marina forklifts which are all engineered in-house. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to work with the tenured engineers and designers on real world projects that are being manufactured 20 steps from where the engineering department works. It’s been such a great experience to see the cranes we design being built at the same facility.”
Matt Chike, Chief Engineer at Marine Travelift reflects on his own college co-op experience at Cummins Filtration in Stoughton, WI as a great building block in his engineering education.
“A co-op is a great opportunity for both the student and the employer. Summer internships are great, but in a field as complicated as engineering it is difficult to make a lasting impact in one short summer. As soon as a student finds their footing in the company, they are on their way back to school for the fall. With a co-op, they can expand their engineering skills and work on high-level, meaningful projects for the company. An engineering co-op position is also one of the best ways to recruit local college talent to your company, and we want Marine Travelift to become a go-to company for young engineers in the area for a great co-op experience. By the end of Will’s seven months, he will have real industry engineering experience to add to his resume, and the opportunity to pursue a long-term career with the company,” Chike commented.
This is the first engineering co-op for the UWGB campus, and it likely won’t be the last.
“As the dean of CSET, I believe this is a great option for the hard-working students at UW-Green Bay and will provide a win-win for all involved. The co-op program will strengthen the partnerships between the University and the region, while also demonstrating to students that there are many great companies and family-sustaining career opportunities in the region.” – John Katers, Dean, College of Science, Engineering, and Technology