June 23, 2022, by Postgraduate Placements Nottingham
Getting a solid start to my career
This week we hear from Manikanta Ravi about his Researcher Academy postgraduate placement as a Design Engineering Intern at Micro-Mesh Engineering Ltd.
I am an MSc Mechanical Engineering Student. Since I studied during the COVID period and have no prior work experience, I was searching for an internship/placement opportunity inside the university. So, I consulted the Careers department regarding the placement opportunity. They put me in touch with the Researcher Academy Postgraduate Placements team and I registered myself on their website mentioning my technical skills (SOLIDWORKS, NX CAD, MATLAB. Etc).
After 4 months, I got an email from Paul, a Placements Delivery Manager stating, “Hello Mani, there is a placement opportunity which is suitable for your skill and why don’t you apply?” Without any hesitation, I applied for it and got shortlisted for the interview.
My interviewer was a Graduate Mechanical Engineer at Micro-Mesh Engineering Ltd, who later on turned out to be my superior cum mentor. He was also an alumnus of the University of Nottingham. The interview went smoothly, thanks to the Careers team. After a few days, I got a call from the Researcher Academy’s Placements team that I was selected.
After signing a contract, I had an online meeting with Jaden where he explained the work I was going to do. This greatly helped me to prepare for a good start on the placement. During my first day at the office, I met the company’s Managing Director, and Commercial Director, who greeted me and encouraged me to do well in the placement. Later I was informed about the health and safety procedures of the company and my line manager explained the factory operations and inventory details.
Micro-Mesh is a filtration company, which was founded in 1968. Initially, my work was to replicate the old hand drawings of filters into SOLIDWORK CAD models and drawings and submit those for approval. Meanwhile, I would enter basic filter dimensions like length, micron rating, and internal and external diameter in SOLIDWORK PDM (Product Data Management) for every filter, thereby creating a database of filters and their parts. This helped in Product development and eradicating the duplication of existing products in the company.
Later on, I was given tasks to design filters based on the customer’s specifications and sheet metal designing. At first, I found a few difficulties to do those tasks because I had no experience in them but my supervisor helped me in learning these things by providing tutorials and explaining the factors while selecting materials, finding Micron rating in the mesh, calculating spring stiffness and giving a glance about Robots, coding, and Additive Manufacturing. Staff at Micro-Mesh supported me in the successful completion of this placement. We enjoyed sharing donuts, and celebrated Easter together with chocolate eggs.
Through this placement, I learned a lot about part and sheet modelling, the office environment, and factory operations. It has also helped me in my transition from a student to a professional. So, I strongly recommend the upcoming students to take up this opportunity to get a solid start in their careers. Also, thanks to the University of Nottingham Researcher Academy and Micro-Mesh Engineering Ltd for providing this opportunity.