On a tour of MAVERICK Technologies in Cahokia, Ill., Michael Goedeker pointed out the on-site grill in the hip cafeteria with red walls. It’s one of the many perks of working as an engineer at a local, thriving PLC company.
“That stands for Programmer Logic Controller,” he said.
After graduating this past spring from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the Washington University Joint Engineering Program, Goedeker already had a job lined up. That’s not an uncommon occurrence for graduates of the program either – one of the reasons he chose it to begin with.
“It’s really a successful route to an engineering career,” Goedeker said. “Having the classes at night was the big thing for me in getting into MAVERICK. It meant I could work for them during the day.”
Prior to his job, Goedeker worked an eight-month internship with the company while finishing up his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He helped design human machine interface, or HMI, screens that allow operators to control construction cranes remotely using a tablet. Now he is the “screen guy” and doing similar work for a new client.
And even before his internship there, Goedeker worked at Ameren for the summer of 2014, helping with supervisory control and data acquisition.
“I worked the lower voltage side of things,” he said.
Goedeker and another intern built digital maps of Ameren’s grid for more than 25 substations throughout the area they service.
“The maps show where there are outages and allow them to reroute electricity to the affected homes and businesses,” he said. “It’s cool because they actually are using the maps still.”
Both internships were possible because of the parallel cooperative education focus of the joint engineering program, which encourages students to jump start their careers by working internships, often paid, with technology-based companies in the city.
Besides the favorable schedule, the internship made going to school financially feasible for Goedeker, as did his transfer scholarship he received after coming to the program from St. Louis Community College–Meramec.