Q&A with Juliana Danesi Ruiz

Juliana Danesi Ruiz is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student who will graduate in Spring 2020.  Her focus area is Robotics and Autonomous Systems.  She is also pursuing a double minor in Computer Science and Mathematics, and participates in the University Honors program.  Juliana is also participating in our U2G program within Mechanical Engineering with plans to continue on for a Master's degree after receiving her BSE.

In summer 2019 Juliana completed an internship related to her career goals.  Read about her experience below.


Q: What company did you intern with?  Did you work with a specific group/team? Or on a specific project?

A: I interned at a company called SICK at Bloomington, Minnesota. I worked as a Systems Application Engineer. I had three main projects that were all related. The end goal was to successfully have a working robot demo. 


Q: What made you want to intern with SICK?

A: I found out about the company in an interesting way. Currently, at my research in the CAR Lab, we use KUKA robots to better understand robot features and have them do demonstrations. The new KUKA robots the university bought last semester are some of the newest on the market and they use SICK sensors to move around an enclosed area. While I was reading the manual for the robot, I tried to better understand how the sensors work, so I googled the company name. To my surprise, the company is German, but the USA headquarters is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I explored their website and found out that they had open intern positions for Summer 2019. 


Q: How do you feel your ME coursework prepared you for the internship?

A: I was proud and delighted to notice that the University of Iowa has prepared me well for my internship. I was able to implement all the knowledge I had gained in class to my thoughts and opinions about certain projects. Both the core and higher-level engineering classes helped me gain a better understanding, and thus helped me do a wonderful job. 


Q: How do you feel the internship experience has prepared you for work in industry?

A: In my opinion, the internship experience was to demonstrate how the companies are doing robotics applications. I had already a good understanding of the robotics, but I was not sure how companies compete with others to get the best application on the market.


Q: What advice would you give other students considering internships?

A: An important piece of advice that I would give that helped me get my internship is to apply for a few companies that you really like and try your best to contact them frequently. 


Q: Were there any highlights to your experience? Were there any pleasant surprises from the experience?

A: I had a great experience this summer at SICK. Since it is an international company, I interned and met people from all different backgrounds. There were interns from California, Texas, Ohio, the Middle East and Germany! The human resources department made sure to put on several events for the interns get to know each other better. I was able to make true friends that were there to help me if I was having a bad day or wanted some project advice.  In addition, I could notice that the company has a very collaborative environment and I could always ask a question if needed. On the first week, they asked me several questions to better understand what I am interested in. This led to me being able to work on the robot demo, which was successfully working at my end of internship presentation day. 

Juliana with robot at SICK internship