June 30, 2011

Electronic engineering technology student completes co-op at the MBTA

Madison King, Electronic Engineering Technology ’12

Co-op Employer: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Position: Engineering Intern

For weary commuters stuck in broken subway cars, Madison King, BEET ’12, is a savior.

Since starting her co-op in January with the MBTA, King has been responsible for testing, monitoring, and implementing solutions for the entire fleet of Blue Line subway cars. One of her biggest projects was working on the auxiliary power supply, a piece of hardware on the bottom of each car which keeps it running. It is a part which can sometimes overheat—especially in the summer—and cause a car to break down. King studied the problems and worked to redesign the thermal system to make incidents less likely to happen.  

As she walks around the MBTA blue line car house on the last day of her co-op, she points out projects she worked on—electrical systems on top of the trains and mechanical features on the braking systems. Everyone she passes smiles, says ‘Hi,’ and explains how sad they are to see her go. Her boss, Louis Tobio, an electrical engineering graduate from the class of 1967, explains that King was so great to work with not only because she was dedicated and organized, but because she actually challenged the way they were doing things and brought about real change. “I’ve always been taught that when you do something, you do it right the first time,” says King.

Now when there is a problem with her train, King is more patient. “At first I was just a regular passenger and when a train broke down I got annoyed. Now I see that it isn’t just an easy fix—you have to look into what’s going on.” And that is exactly what King will be doing this fall when she goes back to the MBTA for a second co-op.

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