Progress Report: Interns Making Big Impact

In honor of National Intern Day, we are proud to bring you this update of our interns’ progress this summer. Each intern is doing a great job learning the ropes and fitting right in.

The engineers at BranchPattern have gone above and beyond to make me feel at home.

Cherian Thoppil Joshua

Cherian Thoppil Joshua

I have learned many things in my short time at BranchPattern, such as duct sizing, calculating static pressures, creating risers, designing layouts for HVAC systems and using Revit. The engineers at BranchPattern have gone above and beyond to make me feel at home and allowed me to make valid contributions to the projects we’re working on. Getting to know them over lunch, stand-up meetings and fierce Nerf bullet battles has allowed me fit right in.

Under the guidance of Parker Hall, I’ve helped with tasks related to healthcare. I was nervous about working on projects of this scale, however, the team of engineers here go out of their way to show me the ropes, allowing me to confidently work on tasks.

I visited a civic project site a few weeks ago. As a building in progress, it was very interesting with unexpected architecture, multiple large climate-controlled storage facilities for historical items, a grand library and an art gallery. The scale of the HVAC system was a lot larger than I expected and learning about the specialized humidity control systems was eye-opening. Dave Hartzler was my guide and a treasure trove of useful information.

BranchPattern has made me feel like I am an important part of the team. The welcoming atmosphere makes me feel like I’ve been working with them for several months. I am excited for what the future holds for me in the Kansas City office, and look forward to contributing to this company’s success.

I went on my first-ever site visit.

Reed Knettle

Reed Knettle

So far, I have been embedded with the Kansas City electrical team. I’ve worked on several project types including healthcare and civic. For the healthcare project, I worked alongside Alex Egley, and helped power Variable Air Valves, placed junction boxes, added panels and air handling units to the one-line sheets, added outlets around rooms, performed general markups, and filled out the mechanical/electrical coordination schedule. Additionally, I worked with Jon Brolhorst and Sterling Embers tagging electrical outlets and lighting fixtures, QC markups and red lines. On a third project, I helped Abhinav Pandey draw up a layout for an electrical room. I also helped Tu Le on a fire station project, placing outlets around the building in REVIT, and designing a lighting layout.

I also went on my first-ever site visit to a civic project in Columbia, MO, and helped Jon Brolhorst and Andrew Bridges with a punch list. I learned about the systems in the building such as the chilled water system and the power systems.

For the second half of the summer, my focus is on mechanical engineering.

The engineering team allowed me to learn by doing.

Nico Ruiz

Nico Ruiz

For the first half of my internship, I worked closely with the mechanical engineering team and helped with large and small projects. Through working on a healthcare project, I have become familiar with REVIT models, adjusting duct layouts, sizes and pipelines. Duct sizing was the most challenging, but the engineering team allowed me to learn by doing. Additionally, I worked on static pressure calculations in Excel which I also found interesting.  On another healthcare project, I updated schedules and learned more about placing CO2 sensors while following certain specifications. From totaling CFM’s, to using a “duct-ulator”, to changing the duct sizes in REVIT, many of my BranchPattern tasks have helped me expand my engineering knowledge.

Aside from the big projects, I have also been involved in some smaller ones like higher education spaces and a renovation of a fire station.

At the midpoint of my internship, I am changing teams and will work with the electrical group to get a new perspective. I’m excited to learn more as the summer progresses.

I’ve been impressed with the amount of experience and knowledge I’ve gained.

Nikita Khlopotin

Nikita Khlopotin

As I near the halfway mark in my summer internship with BranchPattern, I’m impressed with the amount of experience and knowledge I’ve gained. I’ve visited a mixed-use development construction site, and helped perform mechanical-focused inspections.

I’ve started learning the basics of energy modeling, which ensures sustainable design using Integrated Environmental Solutions software. I’ve also sat in on lunch and learns, hearing about new products in the industry.

In the time I have been with the team, I have worked on high schools and a police facility. I’ve helped design and draft ventilation, sanitation, cold and hot water systems, and performed static pressure calculations for complicated series of duct work through a building. I even put together sheets and isometric drawings for a final presentation to a client.

Thanks to the BranchPattern team, I’ve become significantly more comfortable using the complex interface of REVIT and can read schematics and construction documents at a higher level. Everyone I’ve worked with in the Denver office is incredibly knowledgeable and willing to go out of their way to include me in the process. I look forward to expanding my knowledge of energy modeling and electrical engineering during the next half of my internship.

I’ve learned the ins and outs of REVIT and the process of gathering all project elements.

Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

My summer at BranchPattern, has been great. I’ve worked with Jason Koele, Matt Coulter, and other team members in the Denver office on duct work and piping for a school project. I’ve learned the ins and outs of REVIT and the process of gathering all project elements together before a deadline.

In addition to the school, I’ve worked closely with Erica DiLello on an Energy Modeling project in California, drafting a schematic of the building and making sure there is an appropriate number of openings such as doors and windows corresponding to the architectural drawings. The software we used for this process is called IES Virtual Environment, which I really enjoyed learning.

I visited a mixed-use development construction site in Boulder, CO with Patrick Carttar. It was nice to get out of the office for an afternoon and see the progress of one of our projects in real life.

It was also excited to work on a police facility, calculating the amount of energy required for lighting fixtures, which is used when calculating the energy usage of the whole building. I also went through the REVIT model and found the amount of air in CFM supplied to each space. All these elements are key in executing the Energy Model.

I’ve already learned so much about being a mechanical engineer. I’m looking forward to new tasks and helping the team succeed.

I've learned the ropes of HVAC and plumbing design and have become comfortable with the tools used and processes.

Ethan Markey

Ethan Markey

I started my internship with BranchPattern in awe of the complexity of work in each project. The variety of mechanical systems chosen for a given project and how each component of the system fit into place was impressive. By working with the Denver team, I’ve learned the ropes of HVAC and plumbing design and have become comfortable with the necessary tools and processes.

Since the beginning of June, I have worked on HVAC and plumbing design projects on a police facility, and an education project. I worked with Patrick Carttar to create a gas riser schematic that included the length and diameter of each section of pipe. I also helped calculate energy loads for each piece of equipment, becoming more comfortable with navigating a REVIT model and the process used to size gas piping based on pipe length and energy load. I also helped calculate static pressure in order to size a fan for one of the RTUs with guidance from John Blauman. This taught me the impact of the duct lengths, cross sectional area, each type of fitting, and air speed on the frictional pressure losses in the system.

For the education project, I completed the initial duct work design in four different zones of the school with help from Jason Koele and Tim Victor. I learned to size the ducts using both an equal friction loss method, and an equal air velocity method. The largest challenge that I have encountered this summer has been routing the ducts in a way that is most efficient for the air distribution requirements while avoiding the structural elements in the building. John provided assistance in the creation of this schematic.

I am able to learn what BranchPattern expects on the projects to help make them successful.

Youngjoo Son

Youngjoo Son

This summer, I have worked with Marcel Harmon and Stuart Shell of the Research and Development team, tracking the performance of BranchPattern projects through database research, project manager interviews and client feedback material prep.

By reviewing the projects, I have gained a better understanding of the great services BranchPattern offers clients and the contribution of each project manager.

I was excited for the chance to visit a children’s museum in Pittsburgh. BranchPattern is providing Commissioning services and helping the project achieve LEED Certification. While on-site I learned the steps involved in the commissioning process, what concerns we have in each step, and how these concerns are being managed. Second, by updating survey questionnaires designed for collecting feedback from project managers, clients, and occupants, I learned what BranchPattern expects on the projects to help make them successful. I am collecting the responses, and by the end of my internship, I will be able to analyze them, and suggest areas of improvement for future projects.

Pittsburgh Summer 2019 Intern

My summer at BranchPattern has been a lot of fun.

Jacob Sorensen

Jacob Sorensen

My summer at BranchPattern has been a lot of fun. By working on culinary and education projects, I have learned a great deal. The culinary project included a kitchen remodel and an addition at a local civic organization. With Rich Anderson’s help, I went through the entire mechanical design process and learned how different types of equipment are selected for specific spaces.

My favorite project so far has been the mechanical remodel of a middle school. It was great to experience how quickly our efforts came together despite the project’s massive scale. For this project I helped provide pump head calculations for all the hydronic systems, and completed duct work modeling.

I’m currently working on an air handler replacement for a library in Omaha, NE, which has been challenging. I look forward to completing this project and more in my remaining time at BranchPattern.

Omaha Summer 2019 Intern