MxAA Stipend Recipient, Westley ’13 Engineering Change in NYC

Westley ’13 shares his 2015 summer internship experience:

I wanted to start off by once again thanking you for your generous donation. Your donation allowed me to work at the New York Housing Preservation Department (HPD) where I gained valuable real world engineering experience and made vital connections with many of my superiors.

At the start of my internship at HPD, my main focus was learning how to read the many different engineering drawings that came through our office. This understanding of the drawings allowed me to visualize the layout of buildings and understand why the structural layouts where made as they where. I was also tasked with site visits, which allowed me to further make the connection between architectural and mechanical drawings and their real world constructions.

When conducting site visits there were a variety of tasks that required our attention. After walking the premises, we noted the general percent completion of the project, we made sure the necessary safety precautions were being used and we checked the site to make sure the construction followed both city and state construction codes. After the completion of the site visit, we would write inspection reports documenting what we saw and did at our sight.

While I was working under John Cavallo, I also worked on some mechanical designs. I learned how to calculate total heat loss from a building and then size that building for a boiler. This was prevalent for both baseboard heating systems and direct air systems. I also learned and designed plumbing and ventilations systems for residential buildings. With regards to the electrical drawings, we learned how installation designs should be done, but time did not permit for us to fully design a system.

After a thorough understanding of how plumbing, mechanical, electrical and heating systems worked, we were then tasked with engineering design review. During this stage, we would receive drawings and review them to make sure they where feasible and logical designs, along with checking to make sure they met city and state building codes.

My time at HPD was extremely valuable. I not only got the chance to learn a great deal about housing projects and the engineering behind it, but I also managed to meet many fantastic coworkers. John Cavallo and Mike Williams were amazing mentors and really opened my mind up to the world of engineering. I truly value the experience I was able to have due to your generous donation and I sincerely thank you.