Student Spotlight: Ben Messing is Soaring at GE Aviation
Last week, I was able to catch up with Ben Messing, a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major in Cohort 34. While his peers begin to settle into their fall semester classes, Ben has traded textbooks and football games for a manufacturing internship in Vermont. At a recruitment event held in the Kim Rotunda last year, Ben connected with General Electric’s Aviation subsidiary. Though just a freshman at the time, he was able to secure a co-op with the company working with the lean team.
At GE Aviation, Ben is working with a division leading the lean transformation within the company. His project tasks include data collection, organization, and presenting to the business leaders to help inform their decisions. He is also working on a project to develop a new type of gauge and test its reliability and repeatability.
Ben’s days start at 5 a.m. He drives through the mountains on his way to work, which starts at 6:30 a.m. Every day, his team goes on a Gemba walk to look for defects in the manufacturing process and identify any interruptions in the flow. His daily tasks span a diverse range, depending on what needs to be done.
When asked his favorite part about his experience so far, Ben said that he is “really impressed by the factory itself.” He enjoys watching the machines do their job and appreciates the automation that goes into them. One such robot manufactures blades that go inside of engines, a process which requires a very tight tolerance. “Parts have to be very precise, and the robots do it very well,” Ben said.
Outside of his classwork, Ben is very involved with Terps Racing. He is part of the Baha team, which competed in three national competitions last season. He also enjoys juggling.
Ben first heard about QUEST when a student came into one of his classes to pitch the program (shoutout to David Rosenstein from Cohort 29!) He applied because it sounded like a great opportunity and is excited to be part of such a strong community.
Though Ben has yet to take a class in QUEST, he is really looking forward to meeting the other students in his cohort once he returns in the spring. Until then, he will be continuing to develop his engineering and process management skills, all while enjoying the mountains and skiing in Vermont. Congratulations Ben! QUEST looks forward to welcoming you back next semester!