UW-Platteville students get utility design experience with ATC
During the spring semester of 2018, American Transmission Co. teamed up with students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to complete a challenging design engineering project.
The engineering students were asked to design the site and foundation for an existing ATC substation. To mimic a real ATC project, students were given design criteria to complete, including site design layout, storm water management, erosion control, structure and foundation design.
“The project complimented my studies in that it enforced my ability to apply what we learned in our classes,” said Nick Rankin, a UW-Platteville engineering student who completed the project. “From referencing manuals of practice to applying our knowledge of software, this project encompassed every skill we learned. It gave us insight into how actual site design works. Being exposed to drawings that we were given on day one and the design work we completed as students will ready us for much bigger things when we break into real-world applications.”
“The students did an excellent job with the project and came close to the site layout that ATC actually built. They exceeded our expectations in many ways,” said Travis Oates, ATC team leader of civil design engineering.
Oates led the project on behalf of ATC with help from Jim Zhong, senior transmission line engineer; Brian Penny, consultant substation services engineer; Cris Kramschuster, senior substation services engineer; Mike Londo, consultant transmission reliability administrator; Jay Johannes, senior substation engineer; Tam Vo, team leader of design engineering; and Curtis Roe, senior planning compliance engineer.
Along with opportunities for employees to mentor future engineers, the project gave the students a window into the electric transmission industry. Students also visited an ATC operations facility and a substation during the project.
“We got exposure to the university to promote ATC as an employer. If these students go on to work for other agencies such as the Department of Transportation, municipalities, developers, etc., they will come across utilities in their projects. With this experience, they now understand the impacts and will take them into consideration,” Oates said.
ATC is proud to provide real-world opportunities to students and build knowledge of our industry in the community. Along with support for projects like this one, we regularly hire interns in many departments to share our expertise and learn from new perspectives.