July 11, 2010

Time seems to be going by so fast here, I can’t believe I’ve only one and a half more months here. I’m really going to miss Munich and MTU when I have to go back to Daytona for class, but right now I miss home too so it’ll be good to go back to the States. I’ve been insanely busy at MTU recently. We have a new intern in my office as well. She’s a first-year engineering student from France, but she talks with us in English. Things are a bit new to her so, for the most part, she’s starting out how I started my internship, scanning papers and updating databases, but she seems to be picking everything up pretty quickly and it must be harder for her since English isn’t her first language.

As for me, I’m getting ready for an FAA audit of MTU’s software systems the first week of August (which hopefully I’ll get to sit in on as well, sitting in on the Pratt and Whitney audit was interesting). From what I understand, it will be the same kind of audit, but I’m still reviewing everything and revising the presentation we made for Pratt. Right now there’s not a lot of work with CAD to do, so I’m mostly just helping my boss with some of the tasks he’s been put in charge of. We still haven’t made any concrete conclusions about acceptable tolerance variations for parts being manufactured in Poland because they want to run more Try-Outs which take time, so for now that project seems to be stalled. So aside from working on the FAA audit, I’ve been collecting information and analyzing data taken from two of the shop floor controller machines (the machines that create the engine parts) that have been operating with an upgraded software/sensor system.

It’s a LOT of data, charts, graphs, etc to go through and the reports are ALL in German. MTU wants to look into upgrading its machines to this software in the future and is trying to determine the benefits. It seems pretty promising…it measures the power being used by the machining tool and the force it is exerting on the part and determines the variance of these while the part feature is being machined. The (very) basic idea is that the greater the variance of the power/force used during machining, the more likely the tool is to break. MTU hopes to save money by preventing tool breaks which, when they occur, can damage parts to the point where they must be scrapped ($50,000~ worth of scrap approx.) or cost money because the damaged part must be reworked.

My boss and I met today with the engineer who has been taking the data from these machines and who wrote the reports. The first thing my boss told me was “Take notes for later,” then he proceeded to talk in really fast German with the engineer. Very fun. Luckily, I managed to get a few words in and get some sparing information in English which will have to be enough for me to draw my conclusion on the feasibility of this software (it costs $10,000~/machine). If not, I’m going engineer hunting on the shop floor lines tomorrow…

Anyways, that’s what’s been happening at work…but for a good 5 days since the last time I wrote I was in Paris! It was amazing. The last time I was in Paris I was with a tour group and we had to go where they went, when they went…it was so much better just being there by myself and making my own schedule. I mostly did the cliché tourist things anyways…climbed all the stairs of the Eiffel Tower (I wish you could climb to the top though…), saw the Statue of Liberty replica, saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, saw Notre Dame, saw the Sacre-Coeur, and the Catacombs. I took 6 years of French in Jr. High/High School so for the most part I could communicate, except I kept mixing German in my French… And I even got to go to Disneyland this time! It’s interesting seeing Disney here, I’m so used to Disney in Orlando. It’s strange how they mix English phrases into the rides and shows. The Tower of Terror was in English, the exact same audio as in Orlando Disney…it was kind of nice because it *almost* felt like being home.

Nothing much new to report other than that, I believe…I’ve done a few things with my friends from work and am *terribly* glad that the world cup is over, because I’m tired of discussing it at work (but I am sad that Germany lost and America…well we knew we were going to lose, didn’t we?). I’m planning (tentatively) some more trips but I’ll see what’s feasible…traveling is way too expensive (but worth it!)

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Sara

About Sara

Minor: Mathematics
Employer: MTU Aero Engines, GmbH
Hometown: Richton Park, Illinois
Career Goals: To work on innovative new propulsion techniques and create more advanced aircraft engines.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I've always been interested in aerospace, and Embry-Riddle seemed like it would give me the most opportunity to pursue my goals within the aerospace industry.

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