Tuesday, September 10, 2019

KDOT summer interns discuss learning experiences in southeast Kansas

By Priscilla Petersen,
Public Affairs Manager
Southeast Kansas
Two interns in KDOT’s District Four, Stephen “Alex” Link and Will Geary, honed their engineering skills at field construction offices and spent many hours working in the summer sun this year.

Steven "Alex" Link participated worked at
KDOT this summer as an Engineering
Technician at the Area Office in Garnett.
Link grew up in Burlington, and is beginning his junior year as a civil engineering major at Kansas State University. His internship was as an Engineering Technician at the Area Office in Garnett. Link said he appreciated the broad range of activities that KDOT offers. “Lots of internships don’t allow you to see something all the way through,” he explained. He worked on a variety of projects and was able to experience “what goes into making something.”

Among his learning experiences was a surface recycle on K-239. “I didn’t even know they could recycle asphalt,” he said.

Link said he was drawn to engineering since it’s more balanced between the indoor and outdoor working environments: “I’m not confined to the office all day.”

“The people have all been great,” he said of his co-workers at Garnett. Link kept active all summer, “trying to get as much experience as I can.” He said he might look into working at KDOT again, expanding his knowledge next summer with the research and design units at Topeka.

Will Geary, was an Engineering Technician Intern
at the Pittsburg Area Office this summer.
An Engineering Technician intern at the Pittsburg Area Office, Will Geary said engineering is a “very viable” career option. He plans to pursue professional options in football, his first choice, when he graduates from Kansas State University in December. Geary has played football for K-State, most recently during the 2017 season.

His major is mechanical engineering, but Geary said the civil engineering side has impressed him with its roads and bridges that “don’t move” the way machines do. “It’s been good learning as much as I can,” he said, praising the Pittsburg office for its supportive team players.

Much of his summer has been spent gaining knowledge about overlay projects. As it has rained fairly often, Geary has also become familiar with storm water pollution prevention plans.

He said he “really studied up” on the current bridge replacement project on K-126 at Pittsburg, in which the bridge is being constructed one half at a time. Unfortunately, he noted, wet weather has delayed progress.

Geary is from Topeka. His father was raised in McCune, where his grandmother still lives. “It’s been good spending time with Grandma,” he said, adding that “she’s been treating me right” and that he was able to help her out over the summer.

 Are you or someone you know interested in pushing your career further? Contact Debbie Wallace, KDOT Engineering Recruiter at debbie.wallace@ks.gov 

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