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A Summer at DornerWorks


Experience Information

Employer: DornerWorks
Job Title: Intern
Major: Engineering - Computer
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: Yes

Description of the Organization

From the website: "DornerWorks is a premier provider of electronic engineering services for the aerospace, medical, automotive, and industrial markets." Basically, we design and/or program electronic devices for customers who hire us.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

A brief list of some projects I worked on: Schematic/PCB layout design of an AS-Interface demo board Database creation/maintenance Python scripting to access databases Thermal analysis of selected components for a formal Acceptance Test Specification document. Power supply tolerance vs component input tolerance for a formal Acceptance Test Specification document. Importing a large Schematic/PCB design from a developer kit as reference for a project.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

I gained a LOT of experience with the MentorGraphics toolset (DxDesigner, DxDatabook, PADS Layout, PADS Router, Hyperlinx). I had to do a significant amount of schematic capture which taught me a lot about design, component selection and circuit analysis. The PCB layouts that I worked on also taught me about physical design for the hardware. Some other projects i was involved with included database work. Through this, I learned how to use, manipulate and create MySQL databases and access them with Python scripting. I also worked with Excel based databases using the Windows ODBC too to link the spreadsheets to the programs using the database.

Favorite Part of the Experience

I enjoyed the flexibility that I experienced at DornerWorks. It was great to have challenging problems that I had to find answers to. I felt like others working with me on projects viewed my input as useful and I appreciated having jobs that made use of my skills (though they may be few in comparison to senior engineers I worked with).

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

My major is Computer Engineering and I have found out through several classes (EGR226, CIS163, CIS261) as well as personal projects that I love embedded software development. I had not had much experience with hardware design (EGR214 was the only class that involved this) so I really didn't know how much I would like the more Electrical Engineering side of DornerWorks. As it turned out, I did ONLY hardware design this summer. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the hardware design that I did, I realized that I was still more interested in programming/embedded development. As a result, I would like to steer my career towards engaging this passion more.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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