Fifth-year mechanical engineering expertise scholar Graham Cullen has included his love of vehicles and something motorsports into his schooling and his profession. At RIT, Cullen, who’s from Manlius, N.Y., is a member of the body group on the RIT Baja SAE group and likewise participates in RIT Automotive Membership. And, not too long ago, he labored as an intern at Polaris Inc., an automotive manufacturing firm.
Discuss your expertise working with Polaris.
Being an intern at Polaris this previous summer season was actually a dream come true. It took me three years to get that internship, however it was undoubtedly price it. I used to be despatched as much as northern Minnesota to work as a mission engineering intern for the ATV group. There I helped set up and handle the completely different points that have been discovered throughout validation testing and helped system engineers downside remedy and discover options. I labored on a cross-functional group of various engineers and led weekly conferences to maintain everybody up-to-date on the present points.
The corporate tradition at Polaris is actually unmatched. Everybody I labored with was tremendous useful, and all of us shared a standard love for the merchandise we labored on. Among the extra thrilling elements of the job included being hands-on with the merchandise and testing to troubleshoot points. Polaris was an distinctive firm to work for, however the persons are who actually make it nice, each out and in of the workplace.
What have you ever cherished most about being a part of RIT Baja SAE and the RIT Automotive Membership?
RIT Baja provides you such useful experiences that I personally don’t suppose you could find in lots of different locations. I’ve cherished the chance to be a part of a group the place folks must work collectively to resolve points, design elements, take a look at elements, and overcome obstacles in a given timeframe. It actually mimics a real-world engineering design cycle and validation cycle. Although it’s not all the time simple, Baja has been so rewarding each professionally and socially. One in every of my favourite elements of Baja is seeing all of our laborious work come collectively when watching the automotive compete. The camaraderie of the group at races is unmatched. One thing else I really love about Baja is the friendships we’ve made over time and the passing on of data to youthful members. The group can really feel like one large household generally and that’s one thing actually particular to be part of in faculty. There are such a lot of Baja reminiscences that I’ll always remember.
Automotive Membership has been enjoyable to be part of as a result of it’s a relaxed setting the place weekly meets spur conversations amongst individuals who won’t often work together. Everybody reveals off their journey, and other people discuss one another’s vehicles and share tales. It’s cool to see all of the completely different vehicles that present as much as the meets and particularly to the automotive reveals every semester. Most semesters the membership travels right down to Watkins Glen to drive a couple of laps on a observe, which is all the time time, too. Though I’m not as energetic within the membership as I was, I’ve had the chance to fulfill a number of cool like-minded automotive folks over time.
How has your love of vehicles and different autos formed your schooling?
Being an enormous automotive man and a very hands-on mechanical particular person has undoubtedly formed my total academic journey. It was the primary motive why I selected the mechanical engineering expertise route over common mechanical engineering. True application-based considering and really seeing how issues work is one of the simplest ways I study. That’s a part of the rationale I like engaged on vehicles and something to do with motor sports activities as a result of I can make the most of my mechanical skills to construct or make things better and perceive how they work. Secondly, my love for all issues automotive has guided my internship/co-op path. I knew that I wished to search out myself within the automotive or power-sports trade after faculty, so all my internships have been targeted in these fields and have actually opened my eyes to what being an engineer in these industries entails.
What plans do you may have after commencement?
I’ve not too long ago accepted a full-time place again at Polaris the place I can be working of their engineering improvement program. It is a two-year program the place I’ll expertise 4, six-month rotations working at numerous places performing completely different engineering roles. This can be a very distinctive and thrilling expertise as I can see all of the completely different sides of engineering inside Polaris and work with a number of product traces. The event program will give me an important skilled basis in addition to develop my engineering skills earlier than rolling right into a extra everlasting position on the firm.