QuesTek recently received a letter of thanks from past intern, Daniel Lee. We are proud to share in the path that led Daniel to choose engineering as his major and wish him the best of luck in his journey. Daniel’s letter is below.
Dear Dr. Kozmel,
I wanted to write to you and thank you for the internship opportunity at QuesTek last year. Dr. Bell reminded us to tell you what we learned. This past year I played varsity football and had a summer engineering internship at the University of Illinois @Urbana-Champaign. I just finished submitting my college applications and I wanted you to know I chose engineering as my major! In addition, I have also applied to Northwestern University. My experience at QuesTek was a big part of my decision.
I learned so much from my experience working on a materials science and engineering project at QuesTek. I viewed a newly designed material microscopically. I saw how engineers worked by conducting stress tests myself and seeing where and when materials broke. I also learned about an important area to the future of materials science, Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) that is taught at several universities. I met college graduates with materials science and engineering backgrounds and had the opportunity to ask them questions and learn about their college experiences. I am extremely excited to start my path into the field of engineering.
This past summer, my life was split between football camp at my high school and my engineering internship on campus two hours away from home. I was fortunate to be selected as a University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign WYSE (World-Wide Youth in Science and Engineering) Summer High School intern. I had the opportunity to work with a team on an NSF-funded project with POETS (Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems) that partners students and faculty from University of Illinois, Howard University, Stanford and University of Arkansas. I worked on an aerospace engineering project that involved materials design by 3D printing, assembling, coding and flying a drone. This project will be used in the future with middle school and high school students to introduce them to materials design and get them excited about engineering as a possible career. The process of working with a team who I just met, examining, testing and revising a prototype allowed me to see how engineers work and seeing where and when the materials broke in the frame was transformational! The time I spent as an intern allowed me to build upon important skill sets associated with engineering including collaboration, critical thinking and communication alongside a team. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity because it has made me even more confident in my career path in engineering.
Playing high school football connected me to a team of peers, a brotherhood of people with common goals and passion. Everything I learned about the importance of teamwork in engineering makes me think that like playing football, Northwestern University will connect me with an engineering community that will never be forgotten.
Thank you again for the opportunity and I look forward to entering the world of engineering!