Industry: Engineering/Energy
Type of Internship: Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Student Name: Naomi Durand
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: None; Child Study and Human Development
Position Title: Mechanical Engineering Intern
Hours: 40 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Paid, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?
I was assigned an ongoing project that lasted approximately five weeks. My assignment was to improve and automate one of the stages of their manufacturing process. Although they already had a way of doing this task, they wanted me to make it much more accurate and reliable by automating it. Therefore, I was able to order new materials to build a long-term jig and automate it using Arduino with stepper motors.
How did you find this internship?
Career fair at Greentown Labs.
What do you enjoy most about your internship?
I love that this start-up is hosted within Greentown Labs. Even though I was working for a very small company, I was still in an environment with lots of cool innovation all around me. Additionally, I was given a lot of trust and independence in my project, which was so empowering!
What do you find challenging?
As Solchroma is a very small company, the internships aren't annually structured. Instead, intern tasks depend on whatever the company needs are at any given time. Therefore, I found it difficult to understand how to properly complete my tasks at the very beginning. However, once I opened up and wasn't afraid to ask questions, I was given a much clearer understanding of what they were hoping for.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
I think it's most important to make an in-person impression. At Solchroma, it's very important to be a self-starter who is capable of independently solving whatever problems they might come across. Additionally, it would be advantageous to have machining experience. I met them at a career fair in early March, and immediately followed up with an email. Over the course of the month, I had a phone call and an in-person interview, and was offered an internship near the end of the month.

About the Organization

Solchroma Technologies
Somerville, Massachusetts

Solchroma Technologies is building a light pollution-free outdoor digital display platform for the smart cities of the future. Urban populations are growing because cities increasingly have a lot to offer. But as cities mature and buildings are re-purposed, the line between residential and commercial zones is blurred. As a result, light pollution from LED-based digital signs takes a toll on the quality of life of nearby urban residents.  However, cities need digital signs as they have been proven to be an effective communication tool.  Businesses and brands need diverse channels to communicate with consumers, and city governments need to inform residents. Solchroma is building a light pollution-free outdoor digital display for the smart cities of the future that enables digital communication with a printed look. Solchroma’s displays are reflective, and work with sunlight rather than against it to consume as little as 1% of the energy of an LED sign. Made of commodity materials, Solchroma digital displays are inexpensive to produce and weigh less than half of an LED display.