January 06, 2009

Co-op Experience: Robert E. Overton

"I feel that the co-op strengthened my previous outlook. It made me see what I could be doing once I graduate."

BMET ’09
Co-op Employer: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Semester at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Robert spent both his co-ops working atSikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Sikorsky Aircraft is a helicopter company that makes BLACKHAWKs, Seahawks, Firehawks, Superhawks, S92s, and S76s, to name a few – all primarily military aircrafts. 

Robert’s first co-op was with the materials department, where he worked on a variety of unique development projects, including managing a program to determine the residual stresses in an aircraft part while coordinating offsite testing. Robert’s supervisor, aware of what Robert wished to gain from his time at Sikorsky Aircraft, ensured that he was able to get the most out of his experience.

“The more experience I got by working on certain projects, the more my responsibilities increased once they saw what kind of work I was capable of producing.”

Co-op’s contribution inside the classroom

The co-op has given Robert insight to his future, and it is helping him get the most out of the information he is learning in the classroom. 

“After working in Sikorsky’s materials department, I took a material class at Wentworth. Most of the things I learned about in class and in the labs I was already working with on the job as everyday assignments. It definitely aided in my classroom experience.”

Continuing success

Robert returned to Sikorsky Aircraft for his second co-op. To experience a different part of the business, he is working in the failure analysis engineering group, specifically on the prevention of helicopters failures. Currently, Robert is involved with the metallurgical analysis of gear steel material in support of the BLACKHAWK helicopter. He is measuring the micro-hardness of over thirty pieces of material while providing the materials engineers with the data in a concise, accurate method.

“I could definitely see myself working in a similar position, which is why I went back to Sikorsky Aircraft for another co-op. I really enjoyed it and it taught me a lot.”

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