Each of the School's Bachelor of Engineering programs requires students to undertake a minimum of 60 days Industrial Training.
The objective of industrial training is to prepare you for future employment in your chosen engineering discipline. Industrial training enhances the academic material studied at University by allowing you to practice what you have learned and to develop key professional attributes, providing an opportunity for every student to:
- Experience the discipline of working in a professional engineering organisation
- Develop understanding of the functioning and organisation of a business
- Interact with other professional and non-professional groups
- Apply engineering methods such as design and problem solving
- Develop technical, interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.
It is also an opportunity for employers to make early assessments of potential future employees - a demonstrated commitment and ability to take responsibility, make sound decisions and apply technical skills could set you apart from other candidates for the job.
Please read the Industrial Training Guidelines before making arrangements, to ensure that your industrial placement complies with the requirements of the degree program.
Charlotte Dawes, 5th year Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Science and Engineering)/Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) student, talks about her industrial training experience:
When I arrived at NC State University, I discussed my project options with Professor Maria and I was eventually given the task of investigating how to create high quality thin films of iridium. This research was done to aid the work of researchers as part of a collaborative project between NCSU and the University of Virginia, who are investigating iridium as a potential transducer in time domain reflectivity measurements. These measurements help us to determine thermal properties such as the thermal conductivity of materials at high temperatures. We were interested in investigating iridium due to its resistance to oxidation at high temperatures and its high melting point, which are problems associated with other commonly used transducer materials when used at elevated temperatures.
I created the iridium thin films via DC magnetron sputtering, which was an ideal method of deposition for a refractory material like iridium because other physical vapor deposition methods involve melting the metal target prior to deposition. I altered several conditions within the sputtering chamber such as temperature of the substrate during deposition as well as chamber pressure for each sample. I eventually studied the properties of these samples by x-ray diffraction to view the peaks produced by the samples, x-ray reflectivity to determine the thickness and deposition rate as well as a 4-point probe to determine the conductivity of the sample. I also learned how to use atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the textures of the thin films and evaluate the smoothness of the film, with these images displayed in my poster. The properties of each of the samples were compared to determine what parameters resulted in the smoothest, most stable and conductive sample, as explained in my poster.
However, things didn’t always run smoothly in the lab. As I was new to using all of the equipment, there were some occasions where things didn’t work as I expected, which required a lot of thought or even asking for help. This seemed really daunting at first but I think it was really important for me to ask questions to ensure I understood everything that was going on and to prevent me from making mistakes later.
I can honestly say that completing this internship was one of the greatest things I have done since starting my university studies. I learned so much during my time at NCSU, whether it was from reading textbooks about vacuum chamber operation or learning how to operate laboratory equipment. I also got plenty of practice in communicating my research as I created my first research poster, which I was quite proud of. The exchange also provided me with the opportunity to go travelling and I was able to see many of the great things that the US has to offer, such as the amazing art galleries and architecture in Los Angeles, the lights in New York City at Christmas and a few days of snow in Raleigh, which felt like my second home. However, it is the wonderful people I met while completing this program that I will miss the most. It was an experience I will never forget and I encourage all materials science students to apply for this amazing program – you won’t regret it!