Engineering student lands summer internship at SpaceX

For most college students, a typical summer job isn’t exactly rocket science. But this summer, for third-year student Tyler Eston, it will be.
The mechanical and aerospace engineering major received a summer internship at SpaceX and will be working in the avionics department at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. His 12-week internship begins early June, when he will move into housing arranged by SpaceX for fellow interns and employees.

Eston came in contact with engineers from SpaceX during a Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition in California this past May. Baja SAE competitions involve student teams building single-seat, off-road vehicles, and then racing them in a variety of events to show off the cars’ features. Engineers from SpaceX attended the competition and spent time inspecting each team’s vehicle and asking questions based on flaws they saw. To Eston’s surprise, when they inspected his team’s vehicle, the engineers didn’t find any major design faults.

CWRU Baja SAE team and car at California competition

CWRU's Baja SAE team at this spring's California competition


While speaking with the engineers from SpaceX, Eston and other competitors found out about the available internships. The engineers suggested that he apply. Eston also got the chance to take a tour of the nearby SpaceX headquarters.
Eston says he’s looking forward to being immersed in such an innovative environment, especially one that specializes in the kind of precision design and engineering he prizes. "I am kind of a perfectionist in a way. I really love when something I've designed is made, not just made but made perfectly how I envisioned it," he says.
Eston’s no stranger to working around innovation—he’s worked at the university’s Sears think[box] innovation center since his first year at Case Western Reserve, helping the facility’s users with metalwork fabrication, which involves cutting and manipulating metal, and builds prototypes.

By: Kushagra Gupta