From the classroom to the aerospace lab

Amy Wieland, senior in materials science and engineering, is trading the classroom for the aerospace lab this semester. Wieland is spending her spring semester doing a co-op in the Advanced Operations Engineering (AOE) department of Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Wieland’s typical day at Collins Aerospace includes preparing cross-sections, analyzing samples and generating data. She has also been individually assigned a co-op long “cradle-to-grave” project focusing on investigating, characterizing and validating a new soldering system. This type of project is unique, as it allows Wieland to work on it from its inception to completion. This enables her to oversee every phase of the project and have a well-rounded co-op experience.

Wieland decided to take this co-op after being recommended by her mentors at Iowa State. “I knew that I would get valuable real-world experience and develop connections to carry with me into my future career,” Wieland said. “I wanted to do a co-op so I could get a better idea of what a materials engineering job may look like. I am hoping this experience will give me further clarity on the path I want to go after graduation.”

Wieland is enjoying transitioning what she has learned in her Iowa State coursework to her co-op work. She hopes this experience at Collins Aerospace, along with her Iowa State education, will help her achieve her 5-year goal of working in an industry she is passionate about.

“At my co-op and Iowa State, I am surrounded by some very experienced, intelligent and kind individuals,” Wieland said. “I am looking forward to all the insight and advice that I will receive while on co-op.”

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