My name is Jinfay Justin Yuan, and I’m in my second year as a mechanical engineering major at Olin College of Engineering near Boston, Massachusetts. Last summer was my first intern rotation at GE Aviation, and I spend it as a member of the GE9X Product Support Engineering team.

When I arrived in early June, the team was preparing for the GE9X maintenance demonstration: a two-week collaborative event between Boeing, GE, the Federal Aviation Administration and airline mechanics from around the world. The goal was for mechanics to practice removing and installing engine components according to the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) procedures and for Boeing and GE to get instant feedback on how the procedures could be improved.

A sizeable portion of my responsibilities revolved around this event. I helped the team manage the tooling and parts needed for each maintenance task. This meant talking to people across GE to locate components and ensure they arrived at the GE Aviation Peebles Test Operation before the demo. During the demo, I recorded the time it took to complete each maintenance task and communicated the progress of the different airline mechanic teams. After the event, I processed and summarized these time results and presented them to GE and Boeing leaders.

That was just one project. I also helped the High Pressure Compressor team measure the vibratory amplitude of one of the engine’s vanes. I created tooling and engine parts guides that had to be easy to understand for customers. I also revised a section of the AMM.

This experience was quite eye-opening. Before this summer, I knew very little about jet engines. In fact, the closest I had been to one was in the window seat of a plane. Within the first few weeks of my internship, I got to stand in front of the world’s largest and most powerful commercial jet engine and learn more about how it worked, the function of its systems and the maintenance process used to keep it a safe and flying.

I feel incredibly fortunate, and I thank to my teammates and GE coworkers who provided me with these unique experiences. Now I have a better understanding for what processes occur under the engine’s cowl and a better appreciation for the work it takes to develop a jet engine. As a student interested in propulsion, I’m confident that the knowledge I’ve gained here through work and conversations with other employees will serve me well on future projects that come my way.

Interesting in interning at GE Aviation? Visit the GE Careers site.