Student Story|Kyubin Lee, MechE '19
Kyubin Lee, MechE '19
Back to top
The first project that I worked on was creating Graphic User Interface (GUI) that can process one or multiple images to create one clean binary image that can be used to find centroids and angles of different electronic devices. The GUI was built with MATLAB and was supposed to be used as a software base for a robotic arm that would be integrated into a 3D-printer for PCBs. While I was told that the robotic arm would arrive in two weeks when I started the internship, delivery was subsequently delayed so Annie and I gradually transitioned into another project.
The second project that I worked on while technically still waiting for the robotic arm was creating flexible 3D-printed structures. Annie and I found two different patterns that could make rigid plastic structure both bendable and stretchable and tested their loss and storage moduli with a DMA (Dynamic Model Analysis). The structures turned out to have 100 times more storage than rigid structures made out of the same material. After we proved the concept of flexible electronics, our supervisor suggested that we make a small circuit with copper linings and an embedded LED using the patterns that we already have. Utilizing preexisting technology in Orbotech, we exposed SEUX sheets, thin slices of silicon, to UV light to create thin sheets of our patterns that we could later use as a printing board for copper linings that can conduct electricity. We were ultimately able to prove the concept by finish building the structure although we ran out of time to actually light up the LED because the copper linings turned out to be nonconductive.
I think I was more motivated to be involved in my projects because of the openness and lack of hierarchy in my lab. One of the questions I had with Annie my fellow MIT intern was who was someone’s boss. It was also common to see people speak up for their opinions or ask questions during group meetings even if the topic of discussion was not completely relevant to their field. To me, it felt as if everyone’s opinions were treated equally regardless of their degree of education or age. And because of that, I felt less afraid to suggest different ways to proceed with my projects and it was actually a super cool experience for me to work alongside multiple coworkers with degrees of masters or above to figure out new setups for SEUX sheet alignment.
The first advice that I want to give to future interns is to not be afraid of speaking up to their supervisors. There was this awkward period of time during my internship when I completed my first assignment and was in a halt for two weeks waiting for the robotic arm to arrive. Because there weren’t any plans for me to work on a different project, there were times when I was just sitting around in office just staring at my computer not knowing what to do. After doing busy work for two weeks, Annie and I finally decided to email our supervisor to discuss future plans and after two or more meetings, we were finally able to transition to a new project that actually turned out to be way more interesting than I thought. Another advice that I want to give is to pick up a few Hebrew words to use in conversations with Israeli coworkers here and there. While I was fortunate enough to be placed at a place where most if not all workers are fluent in English, I still kept a list of commonly used Hebrew words so I could integrate into their group a little faster. It’s also fun to see peoples’ reactions whenever you say funny Hebrew slang words.
I learned that I really like working in different cultural settings not only in terms of getting to learn a different language but also in terms of meeting people with different views and backgrounds. I especially loved the conversations that I had during lunch time because that would the time when my coworkers and I would talk about Israeli politics, places to travel in Israel, various laws that they approve or disapprove of etc. Although I did not get to hear to a deeply religious (ultra orthodox) side since most of my coworkers are nonreligious, I still think I got a good view of what Israelis think about certain topics, including the ones that are not usually discussed in America. Overall, I realized through my experience in Israel that I would enjoy working in different countries.