(From left to right Holton Miller, Anna Schleper and Kay Perera)
Spectralytics, based in Dassel, Minnesota, manufactures components for medical devices and implants. Through laser processing, machining and injection molding, Spectralytics has developed a technique capable of making the “smallest parts with critical tolerances.”
This summer, Spectralytics brought on SciTech Engineering Interns Anna Schleper, Kay Perera and Holton Miller.
“I think we won the intern lottery this year,” said Tim Coughlin, a quality engineering supervisor. “They’re probably the best interns we’ve had in the last four years.”
In return for their intern’s fresh perspectives and passion to learn, the Spectralytics leadership team had a lot of industry insight that they were eager to share.
“Human interaction with everyone, especially from an engineering standpoint, is very important,” said Mike Michlitsch, operations manager at Spectralytics. “In class, they may solve a real-world problem on paper, but it’s not until you get out there and interact with the people you spend time with every day that you get an experience that’s so hugely beneficial. There’s no class on how to interact with a grumpy engineer.”
“Colleges don’t teach this stuff,” said Kevin Becker, quality manager at Spectralytics. “Even statistics. With mechanical engineering programs, some of them require statistics, others don’t, but everyone should because it’s a part of every engineer’s job.”
In fact, statistics is partially why Perera and Schleper secured their internships at Spectralytics. Said Tim Coughlin, a quality engineering supervisor, “With both Kay and Anna, one of the things that bumped them to the top of the candidate pool was the fact that they had that statistics experience.”
About the interns:
Anna Schleper is studying mechanical engineering and mathematics at South Dakota State University. During her time at Spectralytics, she worked on Smartscope utilization and converting inspection forms from paper to digital.
Holton Miller goes to North Dakota State University where he’s studying mechanical engineering and chemistry. He helped develop a safety glasses policy for the production floor, worked with Spectralytics’ new plasma cleaner, and assisted with facility layout and setup.
Kay Perera is pursuing her master’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology at Mankato State University. Her internship helped her gain quality engineering experience, as she worked on creating validation protocols and reports.