Locality and the cooperative education (co-op) program are what led Engineer of the Month, Christian Lipa, to choose the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) to study mechanical engineering.
“I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and wanted to stay local for college,” said Christian, “the co-op program offered by UC was a real game-changer, I could study and gain paid-work experience and emerge from college debt-free.”
Christian has always been fascinated with taking things apart and learning how they operate, which later led to a car obsession where he and his father would travel annually to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to watch the Formula 1 and Le Mans car races.
“The most enjoyable part of the experience was witnessing engineers and mechanics take apart and fix car engines after the race,” said Christian.
His fascination with engines has been visible throughout his co-op rotations, which have all been with GE Aviation within the US and in Germany.
Springdale, Ohio was the location of his first rotation where he worked as an engineer in the Quality Systems group at an engine component repair shop. He worked on analyzing the sequence of repair processes for certain engine components and quality concerns issued within the repair shop.
At his second co-op rotation, Christian was in Lynn, Massachusetts working in the Turboprop/Turboshaft Compressor Design group on military engines. He designed compressor components for the GEXK (FATE) engine.
Christian’s third rotation took place in West Chester Township, Ohio, at GE Aviation’s North Point, working as a Systems Engineer in the Regional Engine Services (RES) department. While there, he worked on writing certification reports and completing cost-reduction projects for GE Aviation’s smaller aircraft engines.
His final co-op rotation was in Munich, Germany at the GE Global Research Center. There, he worked on the Advanced Aviation Team (AAT) and helped with designing the screen that fits over the air inlet of the Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine. The opportunity to study in Germany was made possible through UC’s International Co-op Program (ICP).
When reflecting on his co-op experiences, Christian states, “the experiences were amazing overall, I felt like I completed meaningful work that had an impact on GE Aviation.”
His co-op experiences also helped him learn how to better manage some of the biggest challenges he has faced as a student.
“Like most students, learning to balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities, physical exercise and friends and family commitments has been a challenge,” said Christian, “and I’ve also struggled with communication.”
“Most of my co-op rotations have involved communicating with hourly workers on a manufacturing shop floor or working with a team of engineers on a design project. I have greatly developed my communication and interpersonal skills through my co-op assignments and feel well-prepared to enter the workforce once I graduate,” said Christian.
Christian regards two accomplishments at UC to being his proudest achievements; being selected as the CEAS October Engineer of the Month and founding the Mechanical Engineering Career Fair through the UC Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in Spring 2015.
The Mechanical Engineering Career Fair has been hosted every semester since its development by the UC Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and serves to help mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology students find co-op jobs by bringing in representatives from local engineering companies.
Last spring was the biggest fair yet, with eight companies and more than 60 students in attendance. Christian is hoping that this year’s fair later this month will be even bigger.
“I feel that the fair will be how I leave a lasting impression . . . or ‘paw print’ at UC,” said Christian.
In order to also leave a lasting impression, he recommends that students take advantage of professors’ office hours and to not be afraid of asking questions. He states that finding a few classmates and creating a study/homework group is also something that should be done because three or four minds are greater than one.
Upon graduating in 2018, Christian hopes to join GE Aviation’s Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP), where he would work as an engineer in departments within GE aviation, learn about aircraft engine operation and design. He also wishes to continue studying and earn his Master’s Degree.
The College of Engineering and Applied Science congratulates Christian Lipa on his outstanding achievements thus far and as the October Engineer of the Month.
Select for previous Engineers of the Month.