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Mechanical engineering major Joe Hamill ’03 (Mahopac, N.Y.) applied classroom concepts in the working world this summer through an internship with the New York Thruway Authority.

Hamill received approval for the 10-week internship after getting assistance from Susan Heard, associate director of Lafayette’s Career Services, who he says “was extremely helpful.” His responsibilities included construction inspection and quantity and payment calculations. He learned how to conduct concrete testing and interpret drawings, and about working with transportation, structures, soil, asphalt, and concrete.

The interesting aspects of the experience, says Hamill, were “all the little things that go into such a big project, getting people to work together, and figuring out what to do when things didn’t go as planned.”

Although the internship was “very helpful” in his career plans, Hamill is considering several options, including law school, forensic engineering (“investigating accidents, structural failures”), and patent law.

Whatever Hamill decides, he will be confident after benefiting from what he believes are Lafayette’s strengths: “Preparing students to work in teams, encouraging leadership, good engineering design projects, and an amazing orientation program for the incoming first-year students that really helps with the adjustment to being away from home.”

He also thanks the New York Thruway Authority and personnel at the Interchange 8 reconstruction project for their support during his internship.

Hamill is part of a year-long Technology Clinic class working with Lehigh Valley Hospital Physicians Group to improve patients’ experience with their doctors. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity through Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center, serves as a peer tutor, and is a member of HIV AIDS Prevention Education Now. He was a first-year student orientation leader this fall. During last January’s interim session between semesters, Hamill served an externship with Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. in White Plains, N.Y., and in the summer of 2001, he studied in Rome.

Categorized in: Academic News