Entries tagged with “Plastics Engineering” from Hawk Talk - Guthrie

A few months back I was pretty up in the air about what I wanted to do after graduation. I was unsure if I wanted to go to grad school full time or part time. I didn’t know if I would be working a full time job or an internship position. I had assumed that my best opportunity would unravel in front of me, but now I am realizing that I will need to make my own path.


I have decided that I am going to sign up for 1 or 2 night classes next semester towards my master’s degree at UMass Lowell. I have been actively applying for both full time and internship positions. I have also narrowed down my search field to the medical devices industry. Two of my previous internships worked with medical devices, and I find this field to be the most interesting and the most meaningful to me.


I had originally hoped that I would find a full time employer that would reimburse any classes I took. However, I am finding that the job market is a lot tougher than I had hoped. I am going to stay optimistic, and hope to find an opening somewhere in the next couple of months. But I have accepted the fact that I may not have a job lined up for me right when I get out of school.


I think that patience and determination are going to be the keys to my success. With time, I am sure things will work out for me. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes and ears open, and to keep my head up.


For any of you out there who are actively job searching, know that you are not alone, stay positive, and don’t give up. For any of you going into school now, keep in mind that it’s a tough world. You need to make yourself a valuable candidate while you are in school. Do whatever you can to build your resume, because in the end it will pay off. A friend of mine who graduated recently told me to “Always plan things out two steps in advance,”

Hopefully the economy will get better, and many new jobs open up, but we cannot rely on it. We need to take control of our own futures.


Thanks for reading, good luck out there!

Over the past couple of months I have learned a few things about changing majors second hand. My girlfriend, Nicole, is a junior in plastics engineering, and she has had a change of heart about her major. She decided early into this semester that she wanted to study psychology instead of engineering. Being in her junior year, we both assumed that a change of major would set her back a couple of semesters or so. However, it turns out that she can still graduate the same semester she had initially planned. Here is why:


Psychology has about half the core classes that plastics engineering, or any engineering, requires for a bachelor’s degree. You will still need at least 120 credits to graduate, so the rest of the space is filled in with free electives. If you are an engineering major like I am, you may be a little unsure what a free elective is, do not be alarmed. A free elective is exactly what it sounds like; it is any class you want to take. So in Nicole’s case, she can use the classes she had taken in engineering as free electives towards psychology. This fills in approximately ˝ the courses in the junior and senior year of psych.


Another helpful step is that her math and science courses can also transfer over. Since she has taken calculus, physics, and chemistry courses, she can use these credits toward a degree in psychology. Psychology, like many other majors, requires that students take math courses, and science with lab courses. Most students in these majors would take college algebra or quantitative reasoning since higher level math courses are not required. They would also probably take life science or exploring the universe for their science requirements. However, these courses leaves the options open to the students, if they wanted to take physics or calculus instead.


This is a one-way street however, if Nicole had wanted to switch from psychology to plastics, and it would probably take an extra 3-4 semesters to graduate. So the point is, if you are undecided about your major, or you are drawn between two choices, look at the program of study. The program of study lays out exactly what courses you need to take to graduate, and when you should take them. Start with the major that is more demanding, and more precise about what courses are needed. Then move to the major that is less demanding.


The bottom line is this; study something that you are interested in. If you do not like the major you are in, it may not be too late to switch. Good luck, and thanks for reading.

So today was my first day at Teleflex Medical, the summer internship I have acquired over these past few weeks. I am glad that I was able to obtain this position, because not only does it pay very well, but it will also look very good on my resume. It was very short notice, and it is a long drive to get there, but it should be an excellent experience.

They say that “every new beginning marks some other beginnings end,’ which couldn’t be more true. This past Saturday was my last day working at Commonwealth Honda in Lawrence. I had been working there since the beginning of last fall. Although the job did not help me in my career, it did serve as a means of paying bills for my apartment. I also made some very good friends while working there. I consider myself lucky to have been able to get the job there in such a tough economy.

So my first day on the job was pretty interesting. I was working with one of my classmates from UML. Together we were testing the process of cold stretching heat shrink tubing for a new product. This is what a lot of the job entails, and I look forward to becoming more familiar with the machine. It is also nice to be working with one of my classmates because now we have the option of commuting together to save gas. I hope that soon I will be given my own project to work on over the summer. I will be sure to write an update once I become more familiar with the job.

My new job…


Finals are over, and summer has officially started. I did not make dean’s list two semesters in a row, but I still received decent grades. The best news is that I just got hired for a summer internship. I will be working at Teleflex Medical in Jaffrey, NH. They have offered me an interesting job and a very good wage. I am going to fill out paperwork tomorrow; I expect to start early next week.

Teleflex makes plastic medical assemblies, catheters and heat shrink tubing. They use extrusion and injection molding, a couple of process that UML plastics has made me very familiar with. This will be my third internship in engineering so far, and my second internship at a medical company.

The only downside to this job is that it is quite a distance away. It takes about 1 ˝ hours to get there. That means 8 hours of working and 3 hours of driving every single day. On top of that I will be taking a night class two days a week. Because of this I will be busy most of my week, and probably most of my summer. The good news is that I will have my weekends off, so I can go to my cottage in Vermont or go camping. Also, Teleflex is hiring one of my classmates as well, so together we can commute to work. I am very excited about starting at my new job, and I will make sure to write about it once I know more…

So you have decided to take engineering at Umass Lowell…

This article is for anyone who is in the same shoes I was freshmen year: undeclared engineering. Engineering is a good option, starting salaries at 50-60k, high demand for engineers in the industry, and the opportunity to work anywhere on earth. The possible engineering majors for undergraduates are; plastics, mechanical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and chemical. Each one has their own challenges.

Typically, an engineering degree means fighting your way through difficult calculus, physics, and chemistry classes. I thought that listing the general education math and science classes for each focus would help make your choice.

Plastics: I am a plastics major. Plastics engineering is chemistry based, but you will also learn physical properties. So for plastics you will need to take: physics 1 and 2, calculus 1, 2, 3 and differential equations, and chemistry 1, 2 and intro to organic chemistry. Compared to some of the other majors, this looks a little heavy. However I can not provide insight for how difficult any of the core classes are, except for plastics.

Mechanical: Mechanical focuses highly on static and dynamic physics. You will need to take physics 1, calc 1-3 and diff eqs. For chemistry however, you will only need to take select topics of chemistry, which is all the chemistry that applies to mechanical engineering. A rule of thumb is that an applied class is easier than a general class.

Electrical and Computer Engineering: Focused highly on physics, count yourself out of all chemistry classes. You will take physics 1 + 2, calculus 1, 2, 3 and diff eqs. These two majors will also require a number of courses on circuits. I assume they are difficult, but you would need to ask someone else for better advice.

Civil and Environmental Engineering: You are going to need a well balanced knowledge of physics, calculus and chemistry. You will take physics 1, calc 1, 2, 3 and diff eqs, and chem 1 and 2.

Chemical Engineering: Keep a periodic table with you at all times. You are going to take chemistry 1 and 2, as well as organic chemistry 1 and 2. You will also need to take physics 1, and calc 1, 2, 3 and diff eqs. As a plastics engineer, I had to take intro to organic chemistry. This was easily one of the most difficult classes I have taken, if chemistry isn’t your strong point, you might find trouble with this major.

Any engineering major is going to involve a lot of work. Even if you are gifted and can ace any exam you take, you still can’t escape the work load. You can expect lots of lab reports, group projects, and homework assignments. If you want to do well in engineering, you really need to commit yourself to it. Listed below are the links to the classes for each major.

·         Plastics Engineering: Programs of Study

·         Mechanical Engineering: Programs of Study

·         Computer Engineering: Programs of Study

·         Electrical Engineering: Programs of Study

·         Chemical Engineering: Programs of Study

·         Civil and Environmental Engineering: Programs of Study

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