Student Post: The rewarding (and sometimes tedious) process of completing a thesis

Student Post: The rewarding (and sometimes tedious) process of completing a thesis

Jun 15, 2014

My thesis is about finding a leak testing process (or processes) that work better and faster than the current process we use. Simple right? You’d think so.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Kettering University senior Jessica Bruce, who is from Flint, Michigan, and is majoring in Industrial Engineering. If you’d like to write a guest post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu.

By Jessica Bruce

The beginning of this story starts out as a story that almost didn’t take place at all. The trip had been delayed and delayed, plans changed time after time. After a week of trip delays from testing issues and holidays, the first thesis road trip finally arrived. The co-op employee and a co-worker set off to the kingdom of Cincinnati, in the land of Ohio in the early Monday morning sunrise.

Jessica Bruce

Previously from this author:

The trip to the testing supplier was rather uneventful, but once we arrived at the supplier things got interesting. Gizmos and gadgets galore were seen, as their testing results were displayed on screen. The test unit for a 16-cylinder construction engine was huge, and our test results for our part were too.

Once the plant tour was over, we visited the test lab and got to see the part that will be used for my thesis testing in person. We discussed the issues we were looking to prevent and compensate for and discovered they had gotten some pretty decent results. At least with this supplier the results for my thesis investigation are looking pretty good or at least as expected. *knocks on wood*

After the trip, I headed back up to Auburn Hills for a very long and tiring 13 hour day, topped off with collapsing into bed the moment I got home. Thirteen hour days are definitely something I don’t recommend too often.

When I got back into work I got a better chance to look through the data and the pictures and diagrams and I am very happy with the results. My thesis is about finding a leak testing process (or processes) that work better and faster than the current process we use. Simple right? You’d think so. I ended up having to derive an equation because all of the other equations listed temperature as a constant (therefore not really taking it into consideration) when temperature variation is a big issue for our testing process.

Now the test part is at the next supplier and I’m sorting through the remaining data and translating it into something more easily readable. Then I get to translate it into my chapter one draft for my thesis. Working on my thesis is really fascinating and rewarding and at other times really frustrating -- it depends on the day. I definitely know more about leak testing than I thought I would ever need to know. Working on my thesis is just one huge step closer to graduation and the rest of my life.