On March 8, 2018, RWDI was named Guelph Co-op Employer of the Year by the University of Guelph. We were nominated by mechanical engineering student Atli Eyvindson, who worked in our Damping Systems team for eight months.
“Right from day one I was welcomed into the group and the company,” Atli says, adding, “I was given the opportunity to grow my skills in all kinds of areas both directly and indirectly related to engineering.”
His leader was Trevor Haskett, a senior technical director in the Vibration and Damping Systems team. “Atli demonstrated maturity and competence, always performing well on each task and gaining our trust for the next, more challenging one,” Trevor said.
Trevor made sure that Atli got to see all sides of life as a consulting engineer, involving him in design activities, client discussions and a site visit. Atli’s technical work involved a mixture of design, strength-of-materials calculations and drawing package preparation to support development of damping solutions to reduce structural motion.
RWDI staff also introduced Atli to the interpersonal skills needed for consulting engineering. “RWDI encouraged me to partake in a group training session on behavioral studies, and this session has been truly life-changing,” Atli says. Demonstrating his “go, go, go” attitude, he also joined our on-site Toastmasters club to polish his public speaking.
He even got a taste of client-side work. “I negotiated for the company to provide wind tunnel time to Gryphon Racing, the Formula SAE team at the University of Guelph,” notes Atli, who is a member of the team. The team tested a car they designed for the Formula SAE student design competition, in which student teams conceive, design, fabricate, develop and compete with small, Formula-style vehicles.
“At any given time, we mentor 5 to 15 co-op students in a variety of roles,” Trevor says, adding, “Because of the ever-changing market conditions in our business, we stay flexible about how we integrate co-op students into our work. Exceptional students like Atli can get involved in nearly everything that comes through our doors during their time with us. We see this program as an important part of our commitment to cultivating teamwork and excellence at all levels.”