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Dayton Engineer

Dream Job at L3Harris for University of Dayton Mechanical Engineering / Aero Concentration Student after Four Cooperative Education Work Terms

By Mary Harbach, Cooperative Education

At the University of Dayton School of Engineering, experiential learning via a cooperative education assignment helps engineering students explore what attracted them to the engineering field and can lead them to their “dream job.”

This spring’s co-op success story is Faith Loughnane. She is a mechanical engineering graduate from Centerville, Ohio, who accepted a full-time position with L3Harris in Greenville, Texas, after working for them as a co-op student for four work terms.

Faith’s first three work terms were in Cincinnati, Ohio, and her final one was in Greenville, Texas, where she accepted a full-time position upon her graduation in December 2020.

Over her four rotations, Faith worked in supplier quality, manufacturing and structure analysis.

Faith gained valuable knowledge in inspection methods, tooling and calibration through her three quality and manufacturing work terms. Her main tasks were designing test fixtures in CAD, improving current tool and test fixture designs, and investigating failed units to determine root cause of failure.

During Faith’s senior year in 2020, she began to seriously consider what she wanted to do post-graduation. This thought process led to her fourth and final rotation. Faith shared the following:

I really enjoyed my positions in Cincinnati, and my coworkers felt like family, but I knew that long term, my dream job would be to work on airplanes, since I was working towards an aero concentration.

Based on my positive experiences within the company, my first course of action was to look into other jobs within L3Harris that would better align with my future goals. I found the structural analysis position in Texas and asked my HR contacts in Cincinnati if it would be possible for them to put my name in for the position. Thanks to their help and recommendations, I was able to get an interview in Texas and got the co-op position in early 2020, which was followed by a full-time offer in mid-2020 shortly before the summer co-op term began. 

Faith is passionate about Aerospace. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in the Clare Boothe Luce program and NASA/OSGC scholarship program doing research in Dr. Gunasekaran’s University of Dayton Low-Speed Wind Tunnel Lab.  She used this work as the foundation of her University of Dayton Honor’s Thesis, which she had the honor to present to the AIAA SciTech 2020 and 2021 conferences as well as multiple local conferences.

When asked about her co-op experience at UD, Faith responded, “I ended up being able to get a very technical full-time position working directly with airplanes, which was exactly the type of role I was working towards throughout undergrad. Had I not begun my co-op journey with L3 in Cincinnati in 2018, I may have never known about or gotten this opportunity to move somewhere new and work with what I am passionate about.”

Congratulations Faith Loughnane and continue to soar high in your aerospace career as a “Flyer” at L3Harris!

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