The Omega co-op/internship program was created to help students grow and realize their full potential – setting them up with the experiences and tools needed to excel in their future careers.
And sometimes, those students have as much (or more) of an impact on us as we do on them.
This is definitely true of one of our latest engineering co-op/interns, David Austin. David, a student at Drexel University, was a co-op/intern here at Omega in the Spring through the Summer of 2021. During his tenure, he made a major impact on the Engineering Team. Within just two weeks of starting at Omega, David learned the engineering and physics behind our newest, innovative sensor product: the HANITM Clamp Temperature Sensor. He spent countless hours in the Omega engineering lab, running tests to validate the accuracy and response time of the HANI. He also designed and built a miniature flow-bench to perform demonstrations for customers on how this market-disrupting temperature sensor works. To date, we have shipped David’s design to sales offices in five different countries and he has coordinated with many of these offices to ensure proper set-up, training, and use.
David made such a contribution that he was ultimately included on the HANI patent as a co-inventor, quite a feat for a college student. He even stayed on part-time during his senior year to continue helping the Omega engineering team with HANI innovations and patent amendments.
This month, David was nominated for a Drexel Outstanding Co-op Award and was selected as one of just ten graduating seniors (out of the entire graduating class) to receive recognition. Ken Leibig, Omega’s Director of Engineering, was on hand to say a few words.
We sat down with David to get his thoughts on the award, his time with Omega, and his future career as an engineer.
Q: What inspired you to pursue an engineering path?
A: What inspired me to pursue an engineering path was that I enjoy taking something and bringing it all the way from a theoretical concept to a real-world object that people use every day. And specifically, I like the problem-solving aspects of that. All the troubleshooting that you have in that development process and trying to improve upon something iteratively as you test and go on.
Q: How did you hear about this program and what brought you to Omega?
A: I saw Omega on the Drexel co-op portal. I saw that they had positions open and I thought that what they were listing looked really interesting. It looked like a new product development role. I remember I applied for the position and during the interview process I heard about this new temperature sensor that they were developing – which sounded really innovative. And I actually got the chance to see it for myself. It made me want to be a part of something like that.
Q: How has working at Omega prepared you for your career in engineering?
A: I think working at Omega has really prepared me for my career and real-world engineering because of all the development processes and teamwork that I’ve seen happen on the ground. I have learned so much about not just working on my own and troubleshooting through different problems, but how to rely on other people in a company, how to work with other departments, and how to work with other engineers. I was able to see all the different issues that come up and how to solve them.
Q: Can you share a positive memory or experience that you had with the Omega cop-op program?
A: I think one of the best memories with the Omega co-op program was when we released the HANI and we found that it was able to work well for a variety of applications. It was great seeing how the HANI had been brought from something that was still in development to then actually being out there in the world.
Q: Were there any surprises working outside of the classroom and has anything exceeded your original expectations?
A: One thing that really exceeded my original expectations working at Omega was how quickly I was brought on to be a real full part of the team, how my contributions were valued, and how I was able to really help develop something that felt like I was a real part of a larger project.
Q: In your opinion, is there anything about Omega Engineering that stands out as unique or special?
A: I think Omega has a really special company culture where everybody is very, very kind and very willing to work together and everybody is able to cohere together out of all these different departments into something where everyone feels a sense of community.
Q: What advice do you have for future students interested in pursuing an engineering path?
A: My advice for future students pursuing an engineering path is to follow your dreams and goals. You shouldn’t settle for somewhere where you don’t feel that you’re happy or that you’re doing something that isn’t being valued and your contributions aren’t fully living up to what your skillsets are. And I would say that you should really keep striving to do something that really changes the world in a meaningful way.
Q: How does it feel knowing that your role in the development stages of the HANI sensor landed your name on the patent as co-inventor?
A: Working on HANI was really the best part of not only my time at Omega but of my entire college career. I was able to work on an innovative new product, be part of a small team, collaborate across different engineering disciplines, and learn how to actually take something from the ground all the way up through the final stages of product development.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your career now that you’ve had this experience?
A: In my career, I really hope to keep developing new products that really change the world in different ways and innovate upon a lot of work that’s been done before and keep pushing new boundaries.
Q: Tell us about how your work on HANI that got you listed as a co-inventor?
A: When I first started at Omega, I quickly learned about this new product that we were working on called HANI. And I learned that it was in the middle of development, pretty close to release actually, and there was a lot of ongoing testing and validation to make sure that everything was working properly. And, you know, in that testing, not everything always lines up exactly as you expect. I was actually able to see some of this data and I was able to sort of keep working on it and look at the physics behind everything and try to iterate upon that and improve it. And I was able to actually make some contributions there and try to help make this as robust of a product as possible – making tweaks on the algorithm and things like that. I was able to become one of the inventors on the patent and that has really been a huge achievement that I’m really proud of.
Opportunity is Knocking
Our internship program runs from May to August, and we offer internships in California, New Jersey, Ohio, and Connecticut. All internships include a project with a program culmination and report out to the Omega Sr. Leadership team. We offer internships in Engineering (Sales Application, Manufacturing & Design), Finance, IT, and more!