Center for Career Development
Logan Smith, chemical engineering `20, spent the spring of 2019 living in Pennsylvania and continuing his studies in a co-op with Philadelphia Mixing Solutions.
When you think of what it takes to make candies or even clear nuclear waste, a mixer may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the tools Smith saw engineered during his time on co-op have a wide variety of uses.
"I will say that Pennsylvania Mixing Solutions is not making your average kitchen mixer. They produce mixers that weigh anywhere from 200 pounds to 100,000 pounds plus," Smith said.
In November of 2018, Smith was granted the opportunity to attend an engineering advisory council meeting, serving as a College of Engineering ambassador. At this meeting, Smith met Tennessee Tech alum Mark Self, the CEO of Philadelphia Mixing Solutions, and gained the connection to be able to pursue his co-op.
"This just goes to show that Tech alumni are giving back in more ways than one. Mark's investment in my professional career will help me for the rest of my life," Smith said.
During his co-op, Smith was able to work first hand in this industry and see the logic and equations that are used by a program that helps size the mixers. Pennsylvania Mixing Solutions works hand in hand with a customer to determine how they can meet their needs, then teams of engineers go to work.
"The program we used takes the information about the fluid that the customer wants mixed and uses that information to size the exact mixer-motor-impeller-gearbox combination. We do this to make sure that the customer gets exactly what they need, an accurately sized mixer for their process. Working on this program allowed me to see the fluid mechanics that go into sizing a mixer, which is very interesting."
"I also had opportunities to work in the Philadelphia Mixing Solutions mixing lab with research and development engineers, I had the opportunity to go out in the field with our specialists who install the mixers and see a 'mixer-startup' and I got to actually build a mixer in our shop. Philadelphia Mixing Solutions gave me a very well-rounded educational co-op experience," Smith recalled.
Smith appreciated the hands-on experience he got working with Philadelphia Mixing Solutions and would recommend to his fellow chemical engineering majors this co-op opportunity. Experiences such as this one are among the many reasons Smith chose to attend Tech and major in chemical engineering.
"From my experience in the chemical engineering department too, I have been taken care of and felt like I matter as a person in a small community... In addition to students, most professors that I have had are very personable and provided for me a closer insight into what life looks like outside of college," Smith said.
"My co-op experience helped me to understand the importance of school and helped me to appreciate school more. My co-op experience made me a better student and has helped me to pay for school."