The Key Tech Intern Experience 2019

A summer internship at Key Tech is a chance for young engineers and designers to get their hands dirty and take a deep dive into real technical work.  No coffee errands here!  Instead, our interns are thrown right into the mix of project work learning alongside our talented staff. Some tasks of note include: facilitating nanoliter-scale fluid transfer, conducting FEA thermal simulation, learning Design Patterns like MVVM, attending user studies and designing soft good wearable products. 

Here are some of the takeaways from this year’s crop of interns: 

Vivian Qi, Duke University, Electrical Engineer  

This summer I worked on: Mainly two projects. In the first one I tested some optical components and a periscope assembly, analyzed a lot of data, and got to present some findings during the client call and end phase meeting. In the second project I got to prototype a motor circuit, read through hundreds of pages of data sheets and manuals (which, actually, is surprisingly fun) to pick ICs, and design some cables, as well as a very tiny and cute PCB!  

My favorite assignment was: Getting to make my very own PCB! It makes me realize that there are so many factors to consider in the actual design process.  

Something I will remember about Key Tech: Having a cold beer on the *newly renovated* rooftop deck with the dogs (and my awesome coworkers, obviously!) 

Baltimore IsA walkable city with a lot to offer, including the beautiful waterfront, all kinds of restaurants, and of course Maryland crabs.  

What did you like most about being an intern at Key Tech?: Getting to work with people from different engineering disciplines and looking at the project from their perspectives.  I also liked the company culture and the activities hosted by the company (looking at you, Crab Fest and Beer30)!  I feel a strong sense of belonging because I got to know everyone here! 

Rachel Sneeringer, Carnegie Mellon University, Mechanical Engineer 

This summer I worked onPlanning and executing fluidic testing on an alpha device, which automates lab procedures. I also designed the skins for one of our drug delivery projects.  

My favorite assignment was: Determining sources of fluid carry-over in an alpha prototype device. It was like a large puzzle, in which we had to constrain a wide variety of variables to find the best solution.  I really enjoyed the collaborative effort my team put up to improve the device.  

Something I will remember about Key Tech: I will remember all of the people that make up Key Tech’s hard-working, innovative, and fun culture. Everyone just wants to lift each other up in the best possible way.  

Baltimore Is: Baltimore is a resilient city full of growth and new opportunities.  

Brian Wu, NC State, Mechanical Engineer 

This summer I worked on: Designing, developing, and debugging a unique thermocycler that helps amplify DNA segments and then analyze them for mutations and disease. My project involved me becoming familiar in the nuances of controls, heat transfer, and mechanical design. 

My favorite assignment was: Learning and working with SolidWorks FEA thermal simulations to help design a new heat transfer plate for the project. 

Something I will remember about Key Tech: Some of the smartest, coolest, and nicest people I have ever met in my life. It was great to be able to get to know everyone in the KT family and even hang out with them on the weekends and after work during the company’s many beer hangouts. 

Baltimore is: A city full of things to do! There are countless fun bars in town that come alive during the weekend as well as an abundance of restaurants that line the streets. You’ll be exposed to plenty of familiar good eats as well as some more exotic combos that taste just as good. Also be prepared to enjoy a lot of crab and a lot of Old Bay.  

There isn’t a shortage of fun things to do in Baltimore whether it be exploring the bustling Inner Harbor, or checking out the many exciting events that occur weekly such as the music concerts, volleyball tournaments, and art festivals. 

Blake Ledlow, NC State, Electrical Engineer 

This summer I worked on: Research and testing of a potential product. This entailed working on a team to build test equipment, run tests, collect and analyze data, and find creative solutions for the various problems that we encountered. I was actively involved in the design meetings and client meetings throughout the summer. Aside from this, I was able to work on various smaller project such as, creating components in Altium for the EE’s, debugging several different PCBs, and making my own PCB from start to finish. Ultimately, I was able to do fun, meaningful work that pushed me to be a better engineer. 

My favorite assignment was: This summer I was responsible for building a special centrifuge for testing a potential product. This system had to reach extremely high speeds and simultaneously capture images of the objects being spun. Through this assignment, I learned a lot about the process of designing and assembling a system.  I went from not knowing what each individual component was, to understanding and integrating each component to create a unified system. 

Something I will remember about Key Tech:  I will always remember how much everyone seemed to enjoy being at work. I felt like everyone genuinely loved their job. 

Priya Kulkarni, University of Maryland, Mechanical Engineer 

This summer I worked on: Designing, building, and testing a way to facilitate nanoliter-scale fluid transfer. This included creating SolidWorks models and conducting FEAs on various components for a centrifuge and a controlled impact device. I also worked on designing and testing a device for small volume blood draw. 

My favorite assignment was: I really enjoyed brainstorming and developing new ways to solve our fluid transfer problem. It was such a collaborative and creative process, which taught me a lot about practical ways to solve engineering problems. 

Something I will remember about Key Tech:  How welcoming everyone is! I really felt like a big contributor to the projects I was working on, and everyone was so helpful whenever I had questions. 

Baltimore Is: A lot livelier than I expected! The area around Key Tech has so much going on and so many great places to eat.    

Andrea Bowdon, NC State, Mechanical Engineer 

This summer I worked on: Testing and designing a drug delivery system.  

My favorite assignment was: Attending a user study to see how people really interacted with our device. 

Something I will remember about Key TechThe inviting atmosphere. 

Baltimore Is: A really cool place to walk around in; such an old city that has many layers of history to see and experience. 

Michael Bielawa, Philadelphia University, Industrial Designer 

This summer I worked on: The industrial design development for a wide array of products, ranging from user interfaces to device enclosures.   

My favorite assignment was/is: The one I am currently working on!  It is a soft goods project which is an area I have some prior experience in, so flexing those muscles again has been enjoyable. 

Something I will remember about Key TechI will always remember Key Tech’s weekly meetings.  It is great how close-knit everyone is. 

Baltimore Is: I am from the Pittsburgh area and lived in Philadelphia the past few years. For me, Baltimore is a new playground! 

Jeremy Booth, University of Maryland, Computer Engineer 

This summer I worked on: Developing a device using ARM microprocessors, and implementing work process improvements for the mechanical engineers. 

My favorite assignment wasIt wasn’t necessarily an assignment, but I really enjoyed learning about C# and other important programming concepts and Design Patterns like MVVM. 

Something I will remember about Key Tech: Taking an entire week’s worth of time trying to get an SD Host Controller working on our main board before giving up completely. 

Baltimore Is: A city full of wonderful people and a great history! 


Interested in being a Key Tech intern next summer?  Read more on our careers page and visit us at one of our many on-campus events this fall.  Look for the bright green booth at Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, Duke, NC State, RPI, Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland!  

Alexis McKenzie
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