Summer Internship: Had Me A Blast!

Summer Internship: Had Me A Blast!

Summer seems like it’s just started to fade but at Key Tech we have already closed the chapter by saying goodbye to our eight awesome summer interns.  Every year our office is filled with new and eager young engineers looking to learn the ropes of product development.  This year’s crew was particularly fortunate because in addition to the challenging design work they accomplished they also got to partake in our 20th anniversary weekend away at Herrington Harbor!  Below are some takeaways from the interns themselves!  Looking for a rewarding, quirky and FUN engineering summer internship?  Check out our recruiting page here and apply to be a summer intern in 2019.

JoAnna Detweiler, Computer Engineer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

This summer I worked on: The software development of the Key# Communication Suite, an internal tool that provides a fast and flexible framework for communication between a computer and a device.  My focus was primarily on implementing new UI features which aims to enhance and increase the number of actions users have at their disposal as well as significantly improve overall workflow. I was also given the opportunity to write some basic firmware for embedded components; it was a step outside my comfort zone, but turned out to be a very rewarding experience.

My favorite assignment was: Getting to write a driver to create melodic tones for a magnetic buzzer transducer.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: They are AWESOME and do a lot of things that most companies don’t. They are not afraid to challenge the border between what is possible and what is not.

Baltimore is: A great city that has nearly everything! The roads are a disaster, but there’s amazing food if you know where to look and fun events going on all the time!

Tyler Schroeder, Mechanical Engineer from the University of Maryland

This summer I worked on:  Assembling, testing, and debugging two test fixtures for a novel PCR thermocycling concept. Designing and building a three-axis translation stage test fixture for a satellite terminal application.

My favorite assignment was: Working as the sole designer on a client project (three-axis stage), because I had to adapt my approach to a variety of constraints. Juggling budget limitations, material restrictions, and evolving client requirements was a fun challenge that showed me a different side of what it means to be an engineer.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: The space! Coming to work every day in the old (but expertly renovated) McHenry Theater is truly an unforgettable experience. You’d be surprised how much the open floor plan and sky-high ceilings promote creativity and foster communication between Key Tech’s engineering disciplines.

Baltimore Is: As someone who is not really a city person, I’m happy to say that Key Tech’s neighborhood, Federal Hill, is a great area to work. The neighborhood is quiet during the day, and there is a seemingly endless selection of dining options to choose from for lunch. Plus, it’s within walking distance of the Inner Harbor and Orioles/Ravens games.

Jared Hyatt, Mechanical Engineer from the University of Maryland

This summer I worked on: multiple projects from learning and operating an in-house CNC machine to helping ideate, refine, and design multiple prototype devices for a client. Each project offered insights and exposure to the entire design process from early brainstorming and ideation to prototyping and manufacturing.

My favorite assignment was: Designing, prototyping, and finally presenting infusion concept drug delivery device for a client. Having participated in extensive brainstorming and concept refinement to tailor our concepts to the client’s specific needs, it was very satisfying to move from a conceptual device to a functioning prototype before iterating on our design again.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: The people and teamwork that Key Tech facilitates. The people are friendly and fun to work with, but also very hard-working and dependable team members. This team-centered atmosphere (both in the workplace and during social events) made Key Tech a fun and informative experience.

Baltimore Is: Though I did not live in Baltimore for my internship, my time working in and visiting Baltimore was great. There are a ridiculous number of places to eat nearby Key Tech and the bars and nightlife have good deals and are very fun. I’ll definitely be returning to Baltimore in the future!

Celeste Greenbaum, Industrial Designer from Virginia Tech

This summer I worked on: A lot of things ranging from graphic design for presentations, icons for internal software, model making and human factors studies for a diagnostic device, to finally, spending most of my time deeply involved on a soft goods project that has to do with a compromised patient type.

My favorite assignment was: Being able to do a lot of the work for the compromised patient project allowed me to wear a lot of hats: designer, user researcher, seamstress, etc. I learned a lot.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: Lots and lots of dogs.

Baltimore Is: A lot more going on than I expected.

Jonah Temple, Electrical Engineer from NC State

This summer I worked on:  Designing new test equipment for Key Tech engineers, running a wide variety of tests on a half-dozen projects, and doing research into ultra-low current measurement.

My favorite assignment was: Expanding on the ultra-low current measurement research. After spending hours (and hours and hours) reading about the ins and outs, I got to make my own schematics and even go through the process of making a PCB! This was a really cool experience that you typically don’t get in school.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: Watching the puppies playing right next to my desk!

Baltimore is: A really cool place to live! There’s so much to do in the area around Key Tech, and Baltimore in general, that the summer flew past.

Ryan Spurney, Computer Engineer from NC State

This summer I worked on:  An internal process improvement project and two client projects. My tasks on the client projects ranged from code review and instrument testing to creating and performing a prototype demo for the client.

My favorite assignment was: Creating a prototype demo for a client visit using Key Tech’s internal device communication software. It was great to experience both the technical aspect of getting the device to work as well as the business aspect of creating a demo that clearly showcases product features to the client.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: The incredible 20 year anniversary trip the company took everyone on!

Baltimore is: An awesome city! There’s something for everyone and I would recommend checking out the farmers’ markets.

Meghan Reynolds, Mechanical Engineer from Loyola University

This summer I worked on: Device testing and a bit of design work.

My favorite assignment was: Designing a new test fixture and being able to design my own custom parts.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: The amazing culture the company fosters.  This and the people that work at Key Tech make the company very special.

Baltimore is: Exciting – with great places to eat, drink, and explore.

Luke Travisano, Mechanical Engineer from the University of Maryland

This summer I worked on: Researching the viability of in-house laser welding of fluidic cartridges either by using existing equipment or by building a small-scale laser welder.

My favorite assignment was: Partaking in brainstorming sessions, not only because brainstorming is fun, but also because seeing the way other Key Techer’s think about and resolve problems is incredibly interesting.

Something I will remember about Key Tech: I will remember the dogs and the culture. But more seriously, the passion that the employees have for this field is something that is unique to Key Tech. The facilitation of knowledge during company-wide staff meetings is a good example of this.

Baltimore Is: The land and the home of the ‘Oh’ ! There’s plenty to do around here.

Alexis McKenzie

Alexis coordinates Key Tech’s marketing and business development efforts alongside Andy. She is also active corralling the undergraduate recruiting process at Key Tech. Alexis previously worked for an AM 100 law firm in marketing communications where she specialized in event planning. She received a BA and MA from Shippensburg University in Applied History.

A history nerd at heart, Alexis fits right into the quirky culture at Key Tech (though she still can’t speak binary). Weekends are spent chasing her two boys and spending time on her boat.
Alexis McKenzie

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