Reflection on a Mechanical Engineering Internship, 2020
Updated: Feb 18
Thinking back on my time spent at Tec Inc. Engineering and Design as a mechanical engineering
intern, I realize how much I have learned throughout my time there. I had just completed my
junior year at Cleveland State University when I started. I was excited to begin this internship
and learn more about the architecture and construction side of engineering. Through this
experience I have learned a lot about the mechanical design process.
Walking into my first day at Tec, I was excited to begin and start learning. Being that this was
my first internship, I did not exactly know what to expect. On my first day, I was introduced to
everyone. Being that Tec. is a small company, it was not difficult to quickly learn everyone’s
name. What also makes Tec stand out is that everyone was nice and welcoming and would
always be there if I had any questions. The first day there consisted of learning the basics of
using AutoCAD and starting to work on a sample project. The project was for a small office
space, and the first task I had involved using a program called Trace to do a load calculation to
figure out how much air is needed to cool the space. I continued with the project and designed
the HVAC system, which included drawing the ductwork for the office using AutoCAD. With
the help of Mike, who helped guide me through projects, I was able to complete my first
After working on a few sample projects and getting a solid understanding of the basics, I got to
work on a new project. The project I worked on was designing the HVAC system for a new
addition to a health clinic. After receiving the architectural drawings, the first step was to use
Trace in order to figure out how much energy is required to supply enough air to heat and cool
the building. The next step was the equipment selection. After getting the necessary information
for the equipment required, I reached out to an engineering sales representative in order to select
the correct equipment for the job. Then, the HVAC drawings were made in AutoCAD, using
ductwork to connect the air conditioning units to the rooms in the building. The drawings also
include general notes, schedules, and detail drawings, which provide more useful information.
After the designs were finalized, a meeting was set up with everyone on the team to review all of
the drawings, which included the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. During the meeting, a
few changes were made to the mechanical plans, which I later revised. Getting to work on this
project was a great overall learning experience. Another interesting part of working on this
project was getting to visit the project site. I was able to tour the existing building and also view
the existing mechanical and plumbing drawings.
Another program that I learned to use was Revit, a slightly more complicated version of
AutoCAD. The first project I had using Revit was working on the as-built drawings for a
building. The as-built drawings are the drawings that show how the HVAC system was actually
built. Occasionally, for several reasons, the drawings we send are not followed exactly with
some modifications made to the design, and these changes are shown on these as-built drawings.
My job was to make these changes to the mechanical plan in Revit.
What was great about working at Tec was the variety of projects that you could work on. It is not
the kind of job where you are working on the same type of task every day. Each project that you
begin is unique, and you are constantly working on something new and learning every day.
In addition to the work I did during my internship, there were also parking lot picnics and a
lunch and learn that I got to attend during my time there. During the lunch and learn, we attended
a presentation about professional development. This went into detail about the A/E/C industry and
how everyone is involved in the entire process of a project. I learned more about the company
and the type of clients and industries that we work with the most. We also talked about future
career paths with the company and the type of work that is associated with that career path.
Overall, I am thankful for this opportunity, and I want to thank everyone who helped me learn
more about the engineering field and guide me in the right direction.