My Internship Experience – Boeing

Hi there! If you are reading this, you are probably wondering what the Boeing Technical Externship Program is all about. Well here it goes.

The Boeing Technical Externship Program is an experiential learning program sponsored by Boeing Commercial Airplanes and hosted at Cyient Ltd, one of Boeing’s top suppliers in India. The program is called an externship rather than an internship because of the fact that you work for Boeing at one of its supplier’s facility.

The externship program started way back in 2008 along with the Boeing University Relations Program (Abhyast & BEIA). The program is promoted, as part of Boeing’s effort to build an aerospace talent pipeline and introducing select students from top institutions to exciting industry projects and practices.

The call for applications is initiated around December to late January. The applicants are required to submit an essay, on a topic finalized by the selection committee, along with their CV. The essay topics in the previous years have been on “Role of nano-science and engineering in aerospace sector” and “Additive manufacturing processes for development of components for the aerospace sector” among others. The selection committee looks for candidates who have a sound academic record with excellent written and verbal communication skills.

By the third week of March, the committee selects two students. For us, the internship (or externship, whatever floats your boat) started mid-May at the Cyient-Boeing Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad. In addition to the stipend, the company sponsored our accommodation at their guest house and free transportation to and from the office for the whole period.

We got the opportunity to meet ten other interns from five colleges across the country. The orientation was really exciting. It commenced with an introductory session by Boeing’s representatives from Seattle who gave us an overview of Boeing, the program and available projects. This was followed by dinner hosted by Boeing at the Hyatt.

The first week was filled with exploring available project opportunities. After a lot of mind boggling discussion, we arrived at our topics by the second week. The projects ranged from reverse engineering/tear down of components handpicked by Boeing, to heat transfer problems in avionic systems. I selected a Genetic Algorithm based composite laminate optimization problem. The topic was new to me and in a way, that made it even more exciting. Akhil worked on design conversion of two components from DFMA to DFAM techniques, or in layman terms redesigned two components to make it 3D printable. We were assigned amazing mentors, Mr. Ekambaram Thirupalli and Mr. Ravi Raju VT, who helped us tide over all our difficulties.

The whole point of going on an internship is to learn something new and relevant in the area you want to specialize/work in. We were able to do just that through the externship program. In addition to the training on various software packages and technologies, the interns got to learn more about each other’s projects during our discussions and weekly presentations. The other cool projects worth the mention include a drone to estimate structural damage through image processing and computer vision and a project on designing an algorithm for passenger seating and boarding in airplanes to minimize the turnover time.

By the end of our internship, we made tons of friends and got to visit a bunch of places in Hyderabad. Boeing organized team dinners at the Hyatt during the orientation and graduation day. We got to visit the GMR Maintenance and Repair Overhaul (MRO) at Hyderabad airport and understand the requirements and issues they face when it comes to aircraft maintenance. We also got the opportunity to attend lectures from industry experts on Value Engineering, Additive Manufacturing aka 3D Printing, Reliability Data Management, and the basics of Nastran & Patran.

All in all, the internship was worth the experience. I hope to see the same enthusiasm and response from the IIT Kanpur-Boeing interns in the coming years.

Here’s a pro-tip for those interning in Hyderabad, don’t miss out on the Biryani & Haleem. Also, a visit to Salar Jung museum & Shilparamam should be made mandatory.

P.S. I’m sure most of you were expecting a picture at our desks, as seen in nearly all the articles in the internship series. Unfortunately, photography is banned at our work areas due to security restrictions concerning intellectual property and export controlled material.

Written by Tony K. John and Akhil Amod

Tony K. John is a senior undergraduate double majoring in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering at IIT Kanpur. Akhil Amod is a senior undergraduate majoring in Mechanical Engineering. They interned at the Boeing Centre of Excellence, Cyient through the Boeing Technical Externship Program during the summers of 2017.

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