YSU students talk about STEM internships

By Denise Dick



Youngstown State University senior Travis Kneen learned about different types of 3-D modeling during his summer internship at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

Kneen, a mechanical-engineering major from Youngstown, delivered a presentation Wednesday about his experience. He’s one of 79 students in YSU’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics College to give presentations about their internships and co-ops. The presentations are a requirement of the program.

“What I basically did at NAMII was learn to use and operate the [3-D] printers and get the type of models I want out of each printer,” he said.

In August 2012, the Obama administration announced that Youngs-town was chosen as the site for the National Network for Manufacturing Initiative’s Pilot Institute for Manufacturing Innovation. YSU is among nine research universities, including Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve universities, involved in the project, along with 40 companies, five community colleges and 11 nonprofit organizations.

Additive manufacturing creates parts by building up rather than removing material, creating the potential to eliminate costs.

Kneen showed a part he and another NAMII intern created on the 3-D printer.

“It comes out as one piece,” he said. “The other intern and I completely redesigned the one that NAMII had, and we gave it out to companies to show them what additive manufacturing can do for them and how cool it is.”

Stephen Rodabaugh, associate dean of YSU’s STEM College and a professor in the department of mathematics and statistics, said the internships build relationships between the university and companies and give professional experience to students, allowing them to “test drive” their future careers.

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