Mechanical Engineering Intern

Internship Position Description

Position Title:

Mechanical Engineering Intern - OC Waste & Recycling - Air Quality Focus   (unpaid internship)

Name and Locations of Agency/Department Requesting Intern:

OC Waste & Recycling, North Region
Olinda Alpha Landfill
1942 North Valencia Avenue
Brea, CA 92823

Functions of Agency/Department:

OC Waste & Recycling owns and operates the Orange County landfill system. The engineering group is tasked with maintaining compliance with the standards set forth by the various regulatory agencies such as the Air Quality Management District, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Cal Recycle, Health Care Agency and the Local Enforcement Agency.

The engineering group at the Olinda Alpha Landfill in the city of Brea provides engineering support services to the ongoing landfill operations, including drainage and erosion control; site grading designs; landfill gas collection system maintenance/expansion/monitoring; construction support service; groundwater sampling/monitoring; and various regulatory compliance monitoring, reporting, and remediation tasks.

Intern Duties/Responsibilities:

While the solid waste industry is traditionally considered a practice under civil engineering, the area of Landfill Gas (LFG) management and alternative fuel power generation may offer challenges more suited to the mechanical engineering discipline.  As such, we are seeking candidates with a mechanical engineering background for this opportunity.

Interns will focus on LFG and air quality compliance-related activities, and one or more of the following projects will be assigned:

  • Perform records search
  • Organize, develop and archive documents, reports and drawings that are stored as hardcopies and electronically
  • Perform data entry and/or analysis
  • Provide staff support with landfill gas sampling and monitoring
  • Assist with field survey duties and compliance report preparation  

Educational Requirements:

This internship is best suited for college students in their senior year of undergraduate studies or recent graduates who have achieved a Bachelor’s degree or are pursuing a Master’s degree, preferably in chemistry, physics, or mechanical engineering. Advanced understanding of math and science is required.

Skills, Training or Qualifications:

Proficiency and experience in the following areas are desired:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics
  • Piping Selection and Piping Network Design
  • Acoustics and Noise Control
  • Energy and Power
  • Instrumentation

In addition, ideal candidates must be skilled in the following areas:

  • Ability to calculate area, volume, density and flow
  • Basic understanding of math and science in fields related to trigonometry, geometry, physics, chemistry, etc.
  • Proficient in verbal communication/presentation and English writing skills
  • Strong organization, problem solving and analytical skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite 2013
  • Knowledge of CAD and CIVIL3D
  • Knowledge of GIS is desirable  
  • Experience in databases and graphics programs such as Photoshop
  • Ability to work on team projects and handle several assignments simultaneously
  • Physical agility for field assignments

Training & Supervision Provided:

Interns will shadow or work under the direction of an engineer and/or other professionals experienced in the landfill gas management industry. While working on specific engineering-based projects, interns will focus on all facets of the LFG collection system up to and including the gas-to-energy power production plant and will be exposed to a variety of local environmental issues. Safety skills will be emphasized as interns work in a close-knit environment that provides ample interdisciplinary (engineering and operational) support with which to accomplish objectives.

Time Commitment:

Minimum 20 - 25 hours per week for 3 - 6 months.  Hours must be scheduled during normal business hours (Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.).  Applicants able to schedule the maximum hours/duration listed for the internship typically gain a more in-depth experience.

Benefits Available to Intern:

Although this is an unpaid internship that does not lead to paid employment or include employee benefits, the position offers students and recent graduates a broad learning experience under the supervision of a practicing engineer within an office and/or field environment, an opportunity to apply academic skills/knowledge to the workplace, exposure to the public sector and the field of waste management, and an opportunity to gain insight into solid waste solutions available for Orange County residents.

Additional Information:

  • Interns will be responsible for supplying their own clothing, boots, and sun protection appropriate for a field/office mixed work environment.
  • Interns may be required to drive a personnel vehicle to off-site locations. Mileage reimbursement is available for authorized travel. Interns who operate a personal vehicle as part of their duties must possess a valid state-issued driver’s license and proof of auto insurance coverage for personal injuries and property damage.
  • References may be consulted to verify an applicant’s qualifications, and a background screening may be required for some assignments.

Internship Application Process Questions