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The Trailblazer Engineering Fellowship

About the Trailblazer Fellowship

With a commitment to prepare the next generation of leaders in Indiana’s manufacturing, the Trailblazer Fellowship was established in 2015. The Trailblazer Fellowship is a 12-week summer internship experience that pairs top-level engineering students with manufacturing projects.

If you’re a student with an interest in accelerating your professional engineering career in manufacturing, then apply today to the Trailblazer internship program.

How It Works

How It Works

The Benefits of the Trailblazer Fellowship

Mentoring & Job Shadowing
Manufacturing Plant Tours
Educational Roundtables
Lunch & Learns
Building a Peer Network with Other Talented Students
Professional Development Training

FAQ

  • Real-life experiences
  • Peer relationships with other fellows
  • Work with top manufacturing employers
  • Professional development sessions
  • Competitive compensation
  • Personal and professional growth
  • Cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher(students with a low GPA will be considered if they have extensive engineering and leadership experience)
  • Demonstrated leadership potential(leaders in on- and off-campus clubs/organizations/athletics)
  • Strong interest in careers within manufacturing and technology
  • Communication skills

The degrees we recruit for are as followed:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Automated Systems and Integration Engineering Technology
  • Computer Engineering Technology
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Other technical related degrees

Project 1

Project 1In 2015 two interns created Flexware’s FlexFactory. This is an automated machine to build Lego cars. The Trailblazers were tasked with designing, building, and programming all aspects of the machine. The FlexFactory is now a showcase piece in our new headquarters in Fishers

Project 2

In 2018 a Trailblazer collaborated with a panel shop to create a wiring diagram and panel layout drawings using AutoCAD. Then built, wired, and tested the panel and programmed HMI Screen. They then installed the panel at a customer’s site with the assistance of a Flexdog

Project 3

In 2018 a Trailblazer was working at a client site validating and helping commission an Ignition implementation that was architected and built by Flexdogs. This was a multi-site implementation in which the Trailblazer was responsible for validating the system and being on site at each implementation to document and do basic debugging.

Project 4

In 2019 a Trailblazer created a Proof-of-Concept (POC) portal site that allowed role-based authentication to allow PowerBI users to share reports across domains. While working along side Flexdogs, the Trailblazer created the architecture and programmed the solution. The Trailblazer used several technologies, many for the first time, such as Microsoft Azure API Management, B2C Authentication, MS SQL, PowerBI Embedded, React, MaterialUI, and Firebase.

Project 5

In 2020 a Trailblazer created a “Puzzle Box” as a training tool for a client. The Trailblazer was responsible for making the wiring, and elements fit within the box as well as programming the HMI screens. They also created the PLC logic to encompass 245 global variables, local variables, and tags.

Other Projects:

  • Helped construct, wire, and build 4 custom control panels for a client. Project also encompassed configuring all IP addresses to connect to PLC’s and tested each individual IO. Also worked alongside a Flexdog and learned Sequential Function Chart (SFC) PLC programming.
  • Worked on a POC for a customer in which the Trailblazer integrated Bluetooth technology into blood cholesterol test meters
  • Worked along side a Flexdog and worked on a computer vision and machine learning project using OpenCV, Dlib, and C++
  • Two interns worked together to create an asset tracking solution for a client using RFID technology that interfaced with their custom C#/.NET Framework application that wrote data to a custom SQL Server database they created.
  • Worked alongside a Senior Developer to create an ASP.Net web application allowing contractors to track jobs and employees/subcontractors performing the jobs. The Trailblazer built a custom SQL Server database and utilized C#, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build out the front-end of the custom app.
  • Worked with one of Flexware’s largest clients on a critical plant shutdown. Set and configured IP addresses of devices. Also upgraded DeviceNet on a line and replaced communication cards in several VFD’s while also doing IO check-outs and wire labeling.

As a consulting firm, Flexware Innovation is always receiving new and different projects. You will be assigned to a Flexware team such as automation engineering, systems integration, business intelligence, software development, or products. The type of projects you will be assigned will be dependent on which team you will be working with during your summer internship.

Draft night is held in November at Flexware’s headquarters in Fishers, IN. The night begins with networking and dinner; you’ll get to meet other candidates along with Flexware’s leadership. Then, you will give a presentation to everyone in attendance on what will make you a great Trailblazer. This is a unique experience to hear from other candidates with the same degree and see how you stack up to them. After the candidates present, Flexware’s team managers explain what solutions their teams solve and will give examples of projects that Trailblazers might tackle in their internship.

After the presentations, you will be asked to rank which Flexware team(s) you would enjoy working on for the upcoming summer. Flexware’s team managers will also rank their candidates.

The following week all draft night candidates will receive a phone call informing them if they received an offer to be a Trailblazer intern.

This is your time to tell ‘your story’ and stand above the other candidates, as you present to Flexware’s  leadership on why they should select you for the summer. We will limit the presentations to 5 minutes to ensure we get done in a timely manner. Some things you might be asked to present include name, major, hobbies, past work experience, etc.

You will be working from 8am – 5pm with a one-hour lunch break. Some days you may be working at the Flexware office, remotely from home, at a customer site, or at an actual manufacturing facility. You can expect to interact with customers or Flexware employees based on the project you are assigned.

For many students like yourself, internships are your first experience in a workplace setting. While this is great opportunity, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is why we have established a mentorship program for Trailblazers. You will be assigned a mentor based on interests and professional goals. Mentors will check in throughout the summer to make sure you have all the tools you need to succeed. Mentors help you adapt faster to the workplace culture, open networking opportunities, and are available to support you throughout the summer internship journey.

Professional development days occur throughout the summer and provide opportunities for you to learn new skills and prepare for the workplace. These activities range from manufacturing plant tours, educational roundtables, lunch and learns, and professional development training.

Ready to kickstart your engineering career in manufacturing? Apply now for the Trailblazer internship.

  • I enjoyed this internship because the projects were very interesting and allowed me the opportunity to make them my own. Also, I very much liked the work environment, since everyone was positive and willing to help.
  • I did not expect myself to be working on such high importance and exciting projects. I always thought interns work on side projects that have little value to the company, but was pleasantly surprised by the projects I worked on.
  • The experiences I had as a Trailblazer were very insightful and I gained a lot more knowledge, in a very wide spectrum, than I ever thought I would.

Why Dr.Theodore J. Williams?

Theodore J. Williams was a legacy in industrial process control and computer integration manufacturing. He received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Penn State, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Ohio State. Beginning in the late 1950s, he pioneered the first use of computers in process control, which now touch our lives every day.

For twenty-nine years, Dr.Williams was a professor at Purdue in four different engineering fields: industrial, chemical, electrical, and mechanical. He was the author or co-author of 10 books, 483 technical papers, and 213 technical reports.

His other passions included the US Air Force, the Boy Scouts, Estes Park, and traveling to the Rocky Mountains in the summer with his family.

Above it all though, he was our father who set an example of what it means to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences. He worked tirelessly for all four of his children and our mother to provide the best life possible. In each of our own ways, we have always tried to do our best to make both of our parents proud.

Dr.Williams’ son, Theodore J. Williams, Jr.