Engineering Internship Gives New Perspective on COVID-19
NC State senior Megan Rettino helped build portable X-ray machines for GE Healthcare this summer.
In September 2019, Megan Rettino attended NC State’s Engineering Career Fair where she first learned about — and went on to secure — a highly competitive internship with GE Healthcare. This summer, she was supposed to be one of 130 interns from universities across the nation to work at one of the company’s locations around the world. However, the opportunity became even more exclusive after the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the United States, and she was one of just 25 students to complete the internship in person.
Rettino, who is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, worked as a materials lean engineering intern with GE Healthcare in Milwaukee, WI., where she helped provide essential technology support to healthcare workers on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Most of my work was making X-ray tubes, which go inside of the X-ray portable that is being used to view the lungs of COVID-19 patients and see the extent that the virus has damaged the lungs all from the patient’s bed-side,” Rettino explained. “Through use of the X-ray portable, hospitals no longer need to worry about taking COVID-positive patients out of their rooms and risking spread of the virus in order to complete these scans.”
In the materials department, Rettino also performed an entire re-work of the material delivery system.
“In order to combat the 300 percent increase in demand for X-ray portables, we needed to make sure material was getting delivered efficiently and reliably from the stockroom to the line in order to keep production going 24 hours a day,” Rettino said. “In Quarter 2, we produced 400 X-ray portables.”
Rettino credits the Career Development Center for helping her discover the opportunity as well as perfect her resume and prepare for the interview. She also felt prepared thanks to her mechanical engineering studies at NC State.
“The College of Engineering provided me with the problem solving and quick-thinking skills I needed to keep up in the fast-paced and highly technical environment at GE Healthcare,” she said.
In addition to her engineering studies and building high-demand medical technology, Rettino is highly involved on NC State’s campus and within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs. She is vice president of both the Circle of Sisterhood, an organization that raises funds and awareness to remove barriers to education for girls facing poverty and oppression worldwide, as well as the Society of Sales Engineering. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Panhellenic Sorority, and was a resident of the Engineering Village in her first year. Additionally, she serves as a University Ambassador and is a tour guide at the Joyner Visitor Center.