On co-op with Carson VanderArk, civil engineering student

Company | TTR Engineers
Location | Akron, Ohio
Position | Civil Engineering CO-OP

Carson VanderArk, a College of Engineering student at UA

Carson VanderArk, civil engineering student at The University of Akron.

9 a.m. Arrive at work

I get to work right away on the design of the pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) project I am working on. I was in charge of drawing in the concrete slabs in front of the outside doors. I also had to decide where to put the trusses for the roof of the office building.

10 a.m. Co-worker reviews my design

My co-worker Nick reviewed my work and had some corrections (whoops). He was cool about it. After finishing up those corrections my other co-worker Nate kept me busy by having me make some adjustments to another design we are working on for a large client.

11:30 a.m. Webinar on new design software (and lunch)

My computer needed to be used to give a test to someone the company was interviewing. While they were conducting the test, my coworker Nick was showing me some cool features on the program Revit. Revit is similar to AutoCAD but is easier to make corrections and adjustments in. It also allows you to make 3-D diagrams! Our company then attended a virtual webinar that discussed the benefits of using more economical members (lighter) in construction and good ways to do so. They even delivered us Jimmy John’s to eat while we watched!

1 p.m. Design canopy for commercial client

More work, so much work but it is so awesome! This afternoon I got to use AutoCAD to design a canopy that would cover the driveway of a client’s office building. They wanted this to keep rain off them while they unload trucks. We are in charge of designing the whole canopy which is unusual because usually we just perform structural assessments for already designed buildings. This was really fun to work on.

3 p.m. Learn about staircases (which are harder to build than you think)

My co-worker Nick showed me how staircases work and how the loadings are applied and how the type of components used are selected. He also showed me a couple of spiral staircases and how complicated it can be to determine how the forces are distributed throughout the system. Interesting stuff.

5 p.m. Hang out with co-workers

After a hard day of work we played a couple games of ping pong to give our minds a break.

6 p.m. Workday complete!

After work I helped my girlfriend move into her apartment and helped hang up shelves and put things together for her.