Perform structural and dynamic analysis on engine components and systems by simulating realistic loading conditions to minimise risk of failure in the field.
This placement has been a fantastic opportunity and has enabled me to gain experience in many areas throughout the company and have an impact on the designs and important decisions made to on engine components.
Working at Cummins I do not feel like a student on a placement, I am treated as a professional colleague where my voice is heard if I have any concerns and my input in meetings and design reviews ultimately leads to the decisions made. All of my colleagues are friendly and fun to be around which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. I really feel valued and a integral part of the team I work in.
I know if I ever need any help, any questions answered simple or complex I can ask my manager or other members of the team and a solution will be found very quickly. I have weekly one-to-one meetings with my manager to discuss my progress, workflow and generally how everything is going which is a good opportunity to get support with my projects.
Due to the nature of the workflow, I will have 2 or 3 projects with differing levels of priority. When one project requires more inputs or needs time to for the software to complete tasks I can work on another project in parallel keeping me busy. I also attend various meetings and knowledge sharing sessions which splits the work day up giving more variety.
When I first started I spent the first two weeks learning company procedures and processes as well as completing software training. at the beginning of the third week I was assigned my first project which was a high priority job on a new engine program. I was given full responsibility for gathering inputs, performing the finite element analysis (FEA), presenting my results in a design review and documenting the project in a technical report. The longer I was there the more responsibility I was given for my own work.
The skills I have learnt at Cummins will play a key role when returning to my degree. I aim to complete my studies focused towards my role at Cummins as I want to work in structural/dynamic analysis after my degree and hope to return. Therefore the software training I received has allowed me to become competent with simulation software which will put me in a valued place on group projects and aid with future learning. My communication skills have also improved from working with colleagues around the world on a daily basis and I understand the importance of clear, concise communication to avoid confusion and improve efficiency.
The atmosphere was great, my team are seated together on one floor and in such a way that you can just turn around and and join in conversations or discuss something that you are stuck on with your work. Its quiet enough that you can concentrate on your work without being disturbed but at the same time if you need a break you can go and talk to a colleague about what they are working on without feeling under pressure to complete tasks unless there is an important deadline or a major issue. When you get to know the team there are many interesting work related topics to talk about as well as non work related topics. It surprises me how much I learn from conversations about other projects and about the engine components.
The placement in the Analysis department is very well organised. From day 1 you are on the job and everything has been organised for you such as a desk phone, a computer, training and integration into the workflow of the company. There is regular communication from Human Resources to the students as well as from managers.
Since I have been at the company, I have been able to attend training sessions all kinds of things. I have had a great deal of training in various software which readily available to employees when needed and can be organised specially if required. There are also weekly training sessions for the power cylinder of the engine given by experts within the company to teach others about the designs of components. If you need training in anything or you are interested in a certain area all you need to do is speak with your manager to begin organizing it or a suitable alternative depending on department resources.
I would be very pleased to be invited back to Cummins or even apply for a permanent position as a graduate. I also hope to have my final year project from Cummins and receive a bursary from them. I hope that after i have graduated there will be open roles in the department for me to return as from my placement I have confirmed that this is the career path I want to take.
As soon as I started there was a strong link with other students on placement with Cummins as well as with colleagues in my department. We regularly meet up outside of work for film nights, pub, etc. Students and colleagues often organise nights out in local towns and other events such as car shows, air shows or just meeting up to socialise. During the work day you will often interact with fellow students and have conversations in passing which makes the day more enjoyable.
Rooms to rent in the area were generally cheap and in Northampton/ Coventry there is student acommodation due to there being universities and is only a 30 minute commute to work. There is a range of supermarkets in the area such as ASDA, Tesco, Aldi. I can get my weekly shop for under £20 which gives me plenty of food for the week as well as treats. There are many pubs in the area which are great for meeting up.
The nightlife in Daventry is pretty poor however I lived in Rugby where it was easy to walk into town. However I personally spend my evenings at my house with other students I live with which means we don't have to go out all the time to meet up.
There are many opportunities to volunteer at local schools for engineering projects such as Greenpower as well as raspberry pi programming and is actively encouraged by Cummins. There is also a football team you can join in with Cummins employees which competes in local tournaments.