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System Engineering Internships

Grace CotnoirAdvancing the Systems Engineering Implementation
NASA Internship at Sikorsky Aircraft – Summer 2011

Written By Theodora Saunders
During the summer of 2011, Sikorsky Research and Engineering (R&E) welcomed the 2011 NASA-sponsored intern, Grace Cotnoir. Under the mentorship of Theodora Saunders from System Engineering (SE), and in collaboration with Julie Mackey, Tom Rose, and Bill Fallon from Material & Process (M&P) Engineering, Grace worked on improving the systems engineering process while focusing on the Environment and Safety (DfES) system design material and process considerations. The project objectives were two-fold: 1) Improve the interfaces and alignment of the SE process with the M&P engineering discipline specific tasks and 2) Evaluate alternate materials and process using life cycle analysis and risk assessment methods to quantify environmental and safety impacts.

Javier Nunez, a junior System Engineering student, started his internship in January 2011 and continues to work part-time at ColJavier Nunez Manufacturing in West Hartford, Connecticut.  Javier’s goals while at COLT are to analyze and evaluate methods of production and determine how to improve them to maximize Colt’s limited tangible resources. Javier performs traditional time studies, updates operation sheets and travelers, and creates work instructions. Javier is also in the process of designing a work cell for the company using advance ARENA® simulation software.

Katrina DurganKatrina Durgan, a junior System Engineering student, worked at GE Aviation in Manchester, Connecticut from January 2011 through August 2011. Katrina was charged with, “I want you to help make production more predictable in this cell.” Katrina took part in a Lean Manufacturing KAIZEN event to introduce one piece flow into the cell. She also created a “WIP Tracker” that integrated with the production scheduling system to identify problems and quality issues associated with increasing WIP levels, on a more real-time basis. Katrina built her tool in EXCEL using VBA.
Lauren Primovic Lauren Primovic, a junior System Engineering student, worked at IDEX Corporation (Eastern Plastics) in Bristol, Connecticut from July through August 2011. IDEX is the “world’s top plastic machining specialist and global provider of high-precision manifolds for more than 50 years.” Lauren performed quality analysis functions, including recording each customer return and defining the quality issue in a corrective action log. Lauren developed an improved gauge management system that included creating a scheduling function to schedule gauge calibration. This system optimized production schedules and insured minimal production downtime. Lauren used EXCEL, VBA and database skills to build her tools.

Macide Dunica at Sikorsky AircraftDuring the summer of 2010, Macide Dunica, a junior System Engineering student, worked as an intern at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut.

“This summer, R&E is proud to welcome our 2010 NASA-sponsored intern Macide Dunica. Under the mentorship of Theodora Saunders, System Engineering Manager, Macide will focus on the Requirements Development process improvements initiative using Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) tools. Requirements development has been identified as an ACE CTQ process forming the foundation for successfully executing our programs. Whether requirements are external customer-driven or Sikorsky enterprise- driven, the requirements development and requirements management are essential for meeting performance objectives within cost and schedule.”