And we’re back! Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far. It’s been a busy two months for me as I moved across the country to Northern Virginia for my summer internship. I am currently a Quality Control Intern with K2M, a spinal medical device company that creates innovative solutions for spinal deformities and other degenerative spine diseases. As a Quality Control intern my job is very dynamic. For the first few weeks I focused mainly on implant and instrument inspection, essentially making sure that all of the manufactured parts are up to FDA standards such as CFR 21 and ISO13485. Since then I have also worked in SolidWorks to create an inspection gage for one of the most popular implants in the company, the Everest pedicle screw. In the Everest screw construct a rod is held in the slot of the screw’s tulip head by a set screw, so I created a Max Material Condition (MMC) set screw gage to test each screw and verify that the actual set screw used in a surgery will fit in the screw’s head. Although I am not a Development Intern, I have also had the opportunity to work with a Senior Engineer in his project to develop a new cervical pedicle screw, and have assisted in the inspection and testing aspects of the product development cycle.
Among other projects and tasks, I have also made friends with some of the other interns at the company, which is really cool because we all come from different schools and have very different perspectives on engineering.
The coolest part of my internship is definitely applying the knowledge I have learned over the past few semesters in my classes to realize that people do in fact use this stuff in real life. Between my SolidWorks class (ITP499) and my class on Medical Device Development and Regulation (BME416), I have been able to adapt to the workplace quickly because I already have a solid foundation of applicable knowledge in the field. Even my theory based classes like AME204 have been great prep in helping me understand the mechanics and strength components of the various products I have worked with.
Outside of my internship I have been getting ready for the school year by working on projects for some student orgs, and have also been working on the Viterbi Voices Podcast! I am also training for a half marathon, and have been traveling around the Mid-Atlantic region to take in the East Coast (West Coast is definitely still the best coast). This weekend I will be celebrating my 21st birthday in Washington DC, and I have already been to a few minor league baseball games in Richmond.
With less than a month left in my internship it’s weird to think that Senior year is just around the corner, but I am super stoked to get back to LA. I’ll be writing some more blogs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for some more summer updates!
Fight On!Meet Alex