Engineer Gets Hands-On Experience at Weir ESCO
entered high school three years ago, I saw myself pursuing a career in the
medical field. But this week I started my senior year with a different
direction in mind: engineering. The shift occurred gradually, but I recently
had an amazing experience that confirmed that engineering is the right career
path for me. I spent my summer vacation with Weir ESCO in Portland, Ore.
always enjoyed math and science. Classes in chemistry and physics opened my
eyes to how engineering applies in every corner of the real world. I love the
arts, too. My experience playing the flute has shown me the connection between
music and math. And classes in ceramics and 3D art have taught me about
physical space. Art and science go hand in hand, and a career in engineering
will allow me to draw on both of these interests. That’s why my experience this
summer was so special.
Photo: Portland high school senior, Erim Hur, spent her summer
vacation redesigning Weir ESCO’s metal casting exhibit.
has an exhibit that it takes to community events like the OMSI Maker Faire to
teach children and adults about the art and science of metal casting
technology. The exhibit is cumbersome to transport and labor-intensive to set
up and take down. My assignment over the summer was to re-envision it as a
portable unit that could be shared more easily with a larger number of schools
and community organizations to highlight careers in STEM. The project was all
mine from beginning to end, which was both exciting and a huge responsibility.
The opportunity came about because of Weir ESCO’s partnership with Saturday Academy, a nonprofit that
provides access to hands-on learning and mentorship experiences for
Portland-area students like me who are interested in STEM.
the idea of having a project that was mine to accomplish and I dove right in.
And, although the work environment was very different from what I’m used to in school
and the pandemic meant working mostly from home, I felt completely supported.
mentors, Weir ESCO engineers Steven Hyde and Kelly Fox, gave me a crash course
in casting and introduced me to the basic design engineering process. They also
helped me understand that engineering is about problem-solving. I began by interviewing
the project’s internal customers—experts who have been operating the casting
booth for years—to understand their goals and requirements for the mobile exhibit.
I took measurements, did calculations, produced design drawings, created 3D
models and much more.