At Stockwell Elastomerics, engineering co-ops from Drexel University tackle R&D, manufacturing, and design challenges every day. During their six-month tenure, co-ops become an integral part of the team, interfacing with customers, suppliers, production, sales, and leadership to accomplish important projects. They work closely with all facets of the company, a broad role that enables them to get experience with many types of work and find areas where they can thrive.

The manufacturing facility contains equipment for waterjet cutting, flash cutting, die cutting, lamination, and molding. Co-ops get a wide variety of machine and operations training, allowing them to better grasp and address production challenges, as well as understand the limits of design manufacturability. They also get a chance to hone their design skills by creating CAD drawings/3D models, and working with customers on design changes. Co-ops create production aids and fixtures using a 3D printer, enabling them to solve problems on the fly.

Several members of the Stockwell Elastomerics team are Drexel alumni, attending Drexel long before the company started its co-op program. These more senior members have had their own past co-ops and careers, serving as helpful guides to their younger counterparts.

According to Ben Conroy, current co-op and a senior at Drexel University:

Co-op Ben with Mike on the shop floorAs a co-op at Stockwell Elastomerics, I gained experience in process development, 3D design, technical writing, manufacturing optimization, and materials science. The workdays flew by in the blend of doing office work and on the shop floor getting my hands dirty developing new products. The small company (~100 employee) environment provides individuals the opportunity to make a meaningful impact, and the company culture encourages you to seize it. Despite the small size of the company, the projects undertaken are huge. Major aerospace customers and technology innovators look to Stockwell Elastomerics and its busy team for rapid solutions and engineered materials, and it’s exciting to be a part of the process.

Each employee at Stockwell Elastomerics has a unique background and skillset they bring to the table, with a lot to offer and learn from. President Tom Rimel radiates a positive attitude, bringing experience and creativity when it comes to business strategy, as well as technical knowledge of chemistry and manufacturing. CTO Bill Stockwell brings deep wisdom from 40 years of running the business, as well as a deep moral dedication to customers and employees. My co-op experience provided the opportunity to learn from them as well as from the experienced operators on the shop floor. For example, Cole Robinson Sr.’s 25 years of practical knowledge and hands-on skill make him invaluable in figuring out how to make the most challenging fabricated parts a reality. These are only a few of the many bright and motivated members of the team who have taught me important lessons in my time here as a co-op.