Mechanical engineering intern Chris Couch has spent his summer at Prairie State working with engineers at the power plant to develop solutions that will improve efficiency, sustainability, and safety.
Couch has been involved in multiple engineering projects throughout the power plant. One of his duties has been to use 3-D modeling software to create engineering tools and equipment that fits the needs of the plant. He has also worked on stress analysis, feasibility studies, and heat transfer calculations.
“This internship so far has improved my view on mechanical engineering. I now enjoy working on more technical projects that require in depth knowledge of engineering concepts.” Couch’s favorite part of this internship has been the amount of ownership he has been able to take. He has enjoyed being responsible for the time frame, material selection, and conceptual design of these projects.
Couch has learned a lot in his time here at Prairie State. He has been able to further apply the ideas that he has learned in school. “It is interesting to see how the theoretical side of these concepts apply to real-life situations. Based on knowledge learned in school, technical decisions can be made on what variables can be assumed or neglected when applying equations to a problem.”
While some of his projects have been completed, he continues to contribute within the engineering department at various stages in project life cycles.
This internship has solidified his career plans of working in mechanical engineering. In the future, he would like to work up to engineering management with a focus on mechanical design projects.