Last week Catherine Flander’s finished her summer internship with GC.  Over the course of the summer, Catherine has been working alongside Steve in our UK lab, with a special focus on a vibration dampening project – it has been an absolute pleasure having Catherine as a part of the team, and we wish her all the best with the rest of her engineering studies.  Huge thanks also to Durham University and Santander’s Internship Project Scheme.

At the beginning of the summer, we caught up with Catherine to ask her a few questions about her internship and what drives her – here are her answers.

What do you want to learn/get out of your time with GC?
I hope to expand my knowledge of materials while working in a professional environment. I also hope to gain practical and project development skills along with an understanding of how a project is developed and tested. Working for a small close-knit company also means I can gain an understanding of the roles of all those involved in the company from top to bottom. I’m looking forward to seeing how the knowledge I have acquired during my degree can be applied to a real-world development project.

What did you look for when choosing a place to do your internship?
Firstly, I focussed on finding a company working within my engineering interests, where I can put my degree into practice. I prioritised companies that are doing things that are beneficial to people and are developing products that genuinely save lives. I also looked for a friendly company, where my work would make an impact. GC provided overlap in multiple fields I am interested in, and I was really keen to find out more about GC’s work right from the outset.

What do you study and what interests you about your field of study?
I study General Engineering, and I will be specialising in Mechanical Engineering this coming year. I enjoy solving problems, and working at the cutting edge of product development in engineering is fascinating.

Who (celebrity/family/friend) have influenced you most in your field of interest?
My A level physics teachers inspired my choice of degree by making physics incredibly interesting and opening my eyes to the option of engineering as a career. A friend at university introduced me to the university solar car team which helped spark my interest in composites.

What accomplishment are you proud of?
My second-year design team achieved a first for our hydrogen-powered aircraft design. I was project manager and was incredibly proud of both how hard the team worked and our end result. Outside of engineering, I have raised in excess of £2800 for, a charity that I am proud to support.

What is one food you would not want to live without?
Probably pizza. Friday pizza night with my university housemates became a tradition at the start of lockdown and it’s become a great chance to relax together and catch up at the end of a week of lectures or work.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully working in research for an engineering company, maybe in composites or materials, putting what I’ve learnt in my degree to good use!

What do you do for fun?

I’m a member of the Durham University Electric Motorsport team, where we’re currently designing a solar car to compete in the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. I also play the trumpet and I’m President of the Durham University Big Band this year. I enjoy rowing, especially on warm summer evenings on the river in Durham.