Summer in the Olin Shop

Hi Olinsider! I hope you all are having a restful summer. My name is Mads, my hometown is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I am currently a rising sophomore (!!!) at Olin. I had an amazing first year where I got adjusted to college living, made friends, and learned a lot about myself! For instance, I really love mechanical engineering. I love mechanical engineering so much that I am spending my summer as a fellow at the Olin Machine Shop, working on improvements. 

Visualizing the setup of the Green Shop

Visualising the setup of the Green Shop. Left to right: Liz '20, me, Nathan, Instructor of Welding and Fabrication, Jonathan '22.

Over the summer, all of the students who are still at Olin for research, jobs, or other projects live in East Hall, mostly in suites. Suite life has been really fun for me. It’s nice to have a single and a shared common area/living room, and the showers are bigger and better! My suitemates and I share meal duty on the weekends, which makes feeding myself less scary. 

We’re working on general shop improvements to make Olin's shop more accessible to everyone and less intimidating to the non-mechanical engineers. I got involved this summer by asking Daniela, the head of the shop here, if she knew of any machine shops that were hiring for the summer. She invited me to apply for the Summer Shop Fellowship, and here I am! When I’m at work, I’m either brainstorming with the rest of the team (made up of 3 staff and 3 to 5 student workers depending on the day) or executing on improvement projects. For the first three weeks of the summer, we focused on remodeling the small woodshop on the second floor of the Academic Center, which is now to be known as the Green Shop due to the abundance of green machines in its space: bandsaws, belt sanders, and drill presses. We took everything out, repainted, and bought new machines to better suit the shop for Design Nature, a course that all students take in their first semester at Olin. We also designed and built new workbenches for the new machines, and redid the tool wall, to name a few things. 

Talking out our plan for the Green Shop with Professor Ben Linder

Talking out our plan for the Green Shop with Design Nature Professor Ben Linder.

Jonathan '22 at whiteboard; sitting in a curve left to right: Liz '20, Professor Ben Linder, Nathan, Instructor of Welding and Fabrication, Daniela, Director of Design and Fabrication Operations, me.

 

Me cutting steel for the new workbenches

Me, cutting steel for the new workbenches.

 

Jonathan and I welding the new workbenches

Jonathan '22 and I welding the new workbenches.

 

Me, grinding down the welds on our table frames to give the tabletops a flat surface

Me, grinding down the welds on our table frames to give the tabletops a flat surface.

Over the course of this project, I and two other shop fellows learned how to weld, I learned some joint-making skills on the table saw, and many vinyl stickers were made. At least a hundred vinyl stickers. It’s been a productive 3 weeks, and I can’t wait for the next 5! 

Posted in: Mads '22, Class of 2022