In the beginning of the Summer, we had the opportunity to meet McCarthy Engineering’s most recent interns, Kyle Coldren and Anderson Deutschman. Now their internships are coming to an end, and it is time to hear about their experiences at McCarthy.
What is one thing in the engineering field you learned at college that benefited you the most while at McCarthy Engineering?
Kyle: At Penn State University, I learned to use engineering software programs such as AutoCAD. Even though AutoCAD is geared more toward the job of a designer, having the ability to use these programs as an engineer is very helpful. It also allowed for me to work independently on projects, keeping them moving efficiently and smoothly.
Anderson: The course work from Villanova University that aided my experience at McCarthy was my knowledge on stormwater. Over the past two semesters, I took Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics and Hydrology. My course work enabled me to handle various stormwater projects and work independently.
What was one thing you learned in the engineering field at McCarthy Engineering that you did not learn at college?
Both Kyle and Anderson were able to use what they learned at school and apply it to real-life situations. They explained how college courses teach you the math and science behind engineering, but there is a lot more that goes into projects than just the equations. Kyle and Anderson were able to travel to construction sites, other companies, and the Courthouse, where they were able to interact with professionals and have their plans reviewed. This kind of experience is extremely invaluable, and something that college courses can’t offer. For Kyle, the tool he added to his tool belt this Summer was a deeper knowledge of stormwater management and for Anderson she added to her existing AutoCAD knowledge — the opposite of what each learned in the classroom and brought to McCarthy!
Who was your mentor at McCarthy Engineering?
Dave Roberts, Water Resource Engineer, and Chris Falencki, Wyomissing Division Manager, worked closely with Anderson and Kyle. Both Dave and Chris taught them so much, from obtaining stormwater permits to how different projects flow. Both also took the time to know the interns personally, which made approaching them with questions much more comfortable for both Anderson and Kyle.
Kyle: They showed us how to solve several different issues by looking through ordinances and deciding how to redesign the plans using AutoCAD. Chris is a role model with a great reputation in the industry and he’s great at delegating work. He has to keep track of a million projects at once, but he always knew what project I was working on, and answered my questions.
Anderson: Dave was great at explaining things with real world examples. One time, I had a question about how a specific stormwater structure worked, so he took me out to the parking lot to give me a visual example. Dave always acted as a teacher and a mentor, while still giving us the freedom to work independently on projects.
Were your expectations met?
Kyle: My expectations were definitely exceeded! I didn’t have a complete understanding of what to expect since this was my first internship and I had never worked in an office before, but McCarthy blew my expectations out of the water. I assumed I would get a decent amount of busy work, but they treated us like full time employees. They were fully willing to educate us while also giving us the freedom to learn on our own. I had an overall great experience here and I’m thankful that McCarthy gave me this opportunity.
Anderson: My expectations were exceeded! I gained more knowledge and was introduced to experiences that went above and beyond what I imagined! I wasn’t expecting so much of my work to be used in the field. I worked on numerous projects that went on to be developed and sent to real clients, which was really cool to see.
What was your favorite project to work on?
Kyle: We worked on different projects every day, allowing for us to gain a vast range of experience. There wasn’t a single project that I didn’t enjoy working on. If I had to choose one, it would be designing parking lots for the City of Reading. Chris had me look at vacant lots within Reading and turn them into small parking lots. I had to develop a design that fit the most parking spots while still having easy access to and from the street. The design aspect was a lot of fun because I was given free range on the project and the opportunity to use my creativity.
Anderson: The project that I got to work on as a long-term project was a 100-acre residential development in Amity Township. I delineated drainage areas, did the stormwater calculations and developed hydrographs. Dave took Kyle and I to the site on Amity Park Road so we could see what the streams looked like in-person and take pictures, which helped with calculations. I really enjoyed it because I was able to take my knowledge from school and apply it to real life situations.
What is next?
Kyle is entering his senior year at Penn State University, and Anderson is entering her senior year at Villanova University. Both Anderson and Kyle are graduating in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. The two are also planning to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam this upcoming Spring before graduating.
Kyle: After I graduate, I’m planning to earn a Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering. After working the mandatory four years in the industry, I plan to take the Professional Engineering exam. If I pass the PE Exam, I get to sign off on projects and plans and stamp them, which is what Chris Falencki and Jim McCarthy do. This is a big step, and it sets you apart from everyone else. Long term, I want to move to a big city and work for a structural engineering firm that works on bridges or skyscrapers. I like the idea of creating large, physical structures that you can tell people, “I worked on that.” My long-term goal, in 20-30 years, is to be able to say, “I designed my own roller coaster.”
Anderson: This upcoming year, I’m enrolled in a capstone course where I plan to choose a project that will involve multiple disciplines. My internship experience at McCarthy has definitely influenced my future aspirations because originally, I wanted to only focus on structural engineering rather than multiple facets of engineering. Now, I want to be involved in work that encompasses multiple disciplines. I would love to work at McCarthy Engineering or a firm similar to McCarthy Engineering where I get to work on different projects. After working the mandatory four years in the industry I plan to take the Professional Engineering exam and one day own my own engineering firm.
McCarthy Engineering thanks you Kyle and Anderson! We wish you both the best of luck in your Senior years and in all your future endeavors!
About McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc.
For 20 years, McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc. has provided the public and private sectors of Berks and the surrounding counties with full service engineering and consulting services such as: site, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, operational, feasibility, environmental, and fire protection. McCarthy Engineering has offices located in Wyomissing, PA and Pottstown, PA. For more information, visit https://www.mccarthy-engineering.com.