When farmers need pumps for irrigation, or a golf course is looking to keep their greens, well, green, they can turn to Delavan Ag Pumps. Delevan produces five different categories of pumps, and one category alone comes in 200 different configurations.
“As you can imagine, that’s a lot of CAD work and drawings,” said Neil Evenson, Director of Engineering at Delavan. “That’s also why we leverage the [SciTech] program, to make sure we’ve got extra hands to help with adapting those changes.”
“We set out for one intern this year, maybe two, and through the interview process we found three great candidates,” Evenson said. “I’d say what we’ve learned from this group specifically is to keep an open mind and allow space for them to bring their skills to our company and help us.”
“We couldn’t say no.”
Duy Le, a mechanical engineering major at the University of St. Thomas, stood out with his background in 3D printing, so much so that during his internship, he convinced Delavan to purchase their own 3D printer to save money by printing in-house instead of off-site.
Elise Rodich, also studying mechanical engineering at St. Thomas, quickly established herself as a “CAD master” according to Evenson and spent much of her internship going through Delavan’s older part designs and updating their CAD files, even creating new ones when needed.
Jonah Rosenthal is double majoring in math and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and leveraged his mathematic abilities in a statistics project for Delavan. All three put their talents to use and proved themselves as capable members of the Delavan team.
From intern to mentor
Helping to mentor the students this summer was Pratyush More, a manufacturing engineer at Delavan and an alumni of the SciTech program. “This is my first job where I’m managing interns,” More said. “It’s a good feeling and a great responsibility.”
More’s fist steps into mentorship were guided by Delavan’s approach to hosting interns: dispersing their new development amongst the students to match their unique skillsets, all while trying to give them as well-rounded an experience as possible.
In this vein, Rodich got the chance to do some testing work in addition to her CAD projects, Rosenthal spent some time with SolidWorks designs, and Le was exposed to sampling and product inspections along with quality assurance testing.
Diversity, creativity and experience
Through this level of hands-on industry exposure, each student walked away from their time at Delavan with new skills and understanding.
“I’m amazed by how much there is to do here,” Rodich said. “Every time I’m given a new task it feels like something different. I think it’s really cool to be given so many opportunities that it’s still surprising even a month and a half in […] As we grow, we’re given more responsibility and trust.”
“As time goes on, we’re given more creative leeway to do what we think is best,” Rosenthal agreed. “We’re also given bigger projects. For example, I’m working on this new design which ideally will be sent to market in the future, which is a big responsibility but also a big opportunity to put my stamp and my ideas into the product.”
“I gained a big picture understanding of the product and how the company is working on it,” Le added. “I feel like I have more experience now in the testing and engineering production areas. I’ve learned a lot from this internship.”
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