The WEMPEC program trains students to be “hands-on” as well as in-depth with theory and analysis so that our students are able to “hit the ground running” in industry. One way we do that is through Internships, which the students are encouraged to take at appropriate times during their graduate studies. Our students say these things about their experiences:
I had an extremely positive experience as a part of the system design team for one of our sponsors this summer. I immediately learned how a motor drives business unit is structured, and acquired a new “drives” perspective of my WEMPEC research, which mostly considers device-level behavior. Because I was working with such experienced and generous colleagues, I was able to better understand how certain subsystems within motor drives function and why they’re included. Oftentimes, my learnings from WEMPEC were confirmed in a way that gives me much confidence moving forward in our field. I was given ownership over a somewhat risky project, and felt strongly supported and encouraged by my colleagues during the entire process. My internship sponsor received a strong introduction to the technology I was attempting to implement in real-time motor drive applications. It seemed to me that no such attempts had been previously made. I tried to leave the company with a solid road map of how to continue developing the technology. In addition, I was occasionally able to work with colleagues informally to share specific aspects of my WEMPEC coursework that relate to their projects. Technology transfer occurred in two ways: (1) a strong introduction to my WEMPEC research topics were provided, and (2) informally sharing of mostly coursework-based lessons I’ve learned. – Tim Polom
My summer internship in the Power Electronics Controls group of one of our sponsors was a very valuable industry experience. I was tasked with a highly technical project with clear business value, had very supportive mentoring, and was satisfied to deliver the final results. My project focused on reducing a dual inverter dc bus capacitance by integrating advanced control improvements into a typically hardware-only design process. I was impressed with the high level of collaboration among the team, diverse and welcoming work environment, as well as the wide array of application-based product development and longer-term research & development projects. – Eugene Rush
I did a summer internship at a sponsor where I was questioned by experts in other engineering fields which helped me expand my way of thinking. It helped me clarifying my thinking by answering questions to engineers in other fields. I also improved my presentation material. I worked on inductive saliency characterization using experiment and FEA. The company benefitted by understanding more details of motor operation and design. – Ye Gu Kang
My summer internship was a wonderful experience. During the internship, I got opportunities to attend various kinds of meetings, discussions and presentations that gave me a vivid picture what it looks like when work at an engineering company. I encountered many technical issues and challenges that I had never had before when I was in school. By solving these issues, I got better ideas of how industry’s product development process works and how to apply what I have learned in school to solve practical engineering problems. The company benefitted when I used what I learned during my research at WEMPEC to help them build the division’s first rapid control prototyping system for driving electric motors. – Hang Dai
I had a great experience as a Power Electronics Intern. The people were great to work with from management to the other summer interns. I really enjoyed being able to work on the full design process including circuit design, simulation, PCB layout, and hardware implementation and testing. And they took great care of the interns with housing, transportation, and some fun summer activities. – Michael Rios
In 2015, I interned and gained much deeper understanding of modeling in Simulink. My supervisor and I applied for a patent. Some of my work on advanced motor control blocks has been released in the latest version, MATLAB 2017a. Last summer, I spent six weeks at another sponsor’s headquarter in Japan and five weeks at their US location. I had close experience with the real world of power electronics and drives. I am able to apply the theory into real applications. The teamwork achieved the substantial improvement of torque control performance of the motor drives. – Yang Xu
If you are a current sponsor, you can see the latest WEMPEC Newsletter for a current list of students who are seeking Internships for next summer.
If you are considering sponsorship, see this and other sponsor benefits here.