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From Co-Op to Mechanical Designer: Trevor's Story

Trevor Doolan

Trevor Doolan completed one co-op semester with F&T prior to accepting a full-time position. He started pursuing his career with us after graduating from The University of Rhode Island: College of Engineering in 2023.

During his career here he has been on both sides of the co-op experience, as a student and now as a Mechanical Designer. We caught up with Trevor to discuss his experience transitioning from a co-op to a full-time career.

What were you looking for in a co-op opportunity? Goals?

Coming into my co-op, the main goal I had was to gain as much experience as possible. I tried my best to be like a sponge and absorb all the information that I could. Before my co-op, I did not have any experience with HVAC systems and how they are designed. I was excited to come to the office and learn every single day so that I could improve my skills. I started out by watching informational videos on how different systems and equipment worked, and then learned how to size ductwork from air terminals back to the main ducts, and eventually ran heating and cooling load calculations using both 2D and 3D software. I was eager to learn as much as I could and, looking back, I feel as though I learned a lot. One of my goals was to get better at using software such as Revit and Bluebeam. At first it started out slow, but over time I got faster at drafting and learned new commands and tools. By the end of my co-op I was a proficient Revit user and performing drafting tasks on a daily basis. The learning and experience I gained during my time as a co-op helped make my transition to full time go smoothly.

At F&T you work with many different team members. What impact has that made, if any?

Getting to work with a variety of team members is one of the best parts about working at F&T. There are many team members who come from different backgrounds and have various levels of expertise. Depending on the project I’m working on I’ll discuss, plan, and meet with a different team of co-workers based on the project demands. It’s extremely helpful to be able to do this. It gives me an opportunity to learn from someone who is knowledgeable in areas I don’t have much or any experience in. I value getting to learn from an assortment of team members rather than just one since I can see how a range of team members handle different situations. As a designer, I have been able to see how different engineers approach a design differently.

What’s your favorite part about working at F&T?

My favorite part about being at F&T is the variety of work that I get to do. It’s always something different. I really enjoy getting to be involved in multiple projects at once. If I had to do the same task over and over again, I might get bored and sick of it fast. It’s so nice to be working on one project and finishing it or getting to a stopping point and hopping over to another one that could be completely different. It’s refreshing to switch it up and lets me look forward to working each day!


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