Clinic, Clinic, Clinic

Friday, November 9, 2012 by Kyle

Going to Mudd you hear the word Clinic quite a bit. Juniors and Seniors always have to run of to Clinic meetings, teleconferences, meetings, and site visits. You will hear Juniors and Seniors (especially me) complain after working several days straight on Clinic, or you will hear people talk about how proud they are of their Clinic Team’s accomplishments. Clinic was one of the largest factors in my choice to go to Mudd.

So what is Clinic? There is probably some formal definition of the Engineering Department website, but in my words it is working for a company on a real project for a semester if your a junior or a full year if your a senior. They aren’t some projects they give to support education, they are real world problems the companies want solved, and they want them solved with high quality and professionalism. Some of the Clinic sponsors this year are DirectTV, Intel, Northrop Grunman, Shell Oil, Qualcomm, Eaton Aerospace, Texas Instruments and the list goes on.

My Clinic sponsor is Skyline Eco-Adventures. They are a zipline tourism company with sites in Hawai’i, but are currently expanding to all over the U.S., which is why they need our help. We have been tasked to develop an adjustable braking trolley, so that every rider will end the ride at 6-10 mph. This is an extremely hard problem to solve, because there is much variability in each line, rider mass, weather conditions, and much more. This project is turning me into a real engineer. We are managing a $10,000+ budget, we have to meet deliverables set forth by the client, and we have to be professional in interacting with the client.

Although it seems like there is no end to the amount of work we can do, I really enjoy doing the project. There are some perks too. We get our own room at Mudd to work on our project, we have a discretionary fund to buy snacks or do team bonding, we got to travel to Las Vegas to go ziplining, and a lot of times students get hired by their Clinic sponsor.

There are clinic projects for every major so everyone should consider clinic when deciding on whether or not too choose Mudd. It’s an experience I don’t think you can get anywhere else. I am currently trying to get an internship for the summer, and although I have never had a technical engineering job yet, it looks like I have on my resume because of all the real world projects I have done for different classes at Mudd.

Sorry it’s been awhile since I have posted, but I can blame it on Clinic now that I have explained it to you.