04 May A Co-Op in Acoustics
In January 2020, Simon Fraser University (SFU) student Ryan Heo began an eight-month term as a co-op student at BKL. Halfway through his term, he reflects on his journey.
What are you studying? How far along are you?
I am studying mechatronic systems engineering (MSE), which is a multidisciplinary major combining mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. I am a third-year student and expect to graduate in 2022.
Why did you apply to BKL?
I applied to BKL for several reasons. Even though acoustics is on the pure mechanical side of engineering, and a different subject than I’ve been learning in MSE, I found it very interesting that BKL has conducted sound level measurements in buildings I have been to numerous times.
Moreover, BKL works with many clients and in various sectors, so I thought that it would be a valuable experience for me to work on multiple projects in parallel and learn the culture of BKL and this industry.
Lastly, I wanted to gain hands-on experience by carrying out measurements at project sites and analyzing results.
What’s the trickiest situation you’ve been in during your co-op term so far?
Finding an ideal measurement spot can be a challenge. We need to ensure that measurement locations are accessible, secure, have direct line of sight to a dominant noise source, and have no walls close by, which avoids reflection of sound waves.
What’s the best part about working as a co-op student at BKL?
I like that I get to look into acoustic problems and complaints, and visit potentially affected or affected locations for noise level measurements.
What’s unique about doing a co-op term at BKL?
Many of the projects are fast paced and short term, and every consultant works on multiple projects at the same time.
What are some important skills that BKL co-op students should have?
It would be beneficial for both the co-op students and BKL if students can quickly adapt to a new workplace, apply time management skills, and be flexible when learning new software and knowledge.
Combining field work with data analysis, all viewed through the lens of noise studies, a co-op term in acoustics is certainly a unique experience—something that can help a recent graduate stand out in a sea of applicants. In addition, BKL has had co-op students come back to work at BKL after finishing their undergraduate degrees.
If you are a student interested in working with BKL, ask one of your faculty’s co-op advisors about our recent posting. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.