Kyle Maples and Joel Hollender are completing their summer engineering internships at Tuthill in Springfield, MO. Kyle has interned with Tuthill through his summer and winter breaks since 2017. He is entering his senior year at the University of Arkansas. This summer was Joel’s first time at Tuthill. He will be a sophomore at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

This was Joel’s first exposure to manufacturing. “I learned how real engineering gets done. There are a lot of acronyms and initials in manufacturing. It’s almost like I learned a new language,” Joel said. He completed nine engineering change notices (ECNs) this summer. He was most excited about creating a 3D model for a new QX blower gear assembly that will provide vendor clarity and cost savings. He also learned SolidWorks and completed simulations to source the weak points in a shaft, and attended supplier meetings where he was actively involved.

Above: Joel Hollender, Tuthill Springfield's summer engineering intern

Joel enjoyed the strong connection between the engineering department and the attached manufacturing facility. “You change something in the office on a computer, and you can walk out [in the shop] and see what changes are being made and how it affects product or material. If you’re making engineering reports all day, you can’t see what real things you’re doing that make a difference.”

In addition to completing his daily tasks of ECNs and engineered to order solutions, Kyle Maples was tasked with an exciting project. His directive was to research new technologies to improve blower performance out of new  materials that that could double the efficiency and capacity of the blowers, while improving the geometry of internal components. He sourced materials that elicit the same profile and product.

Above: Kyle Maples, Tuthill Springfield's summer engineering intern

“If it had not been for multiple years of interning at Tuthill, what I did over the summer wouldn’t be possible” Kyle said. If his designs pan out, he could potentially have a patent under his name. “Everything was ripe to fully explore and make the best product that I could,” Kyle said.

Recently, Kyle and Joel presented to the leadership team about their summer internship. It was an especially proud moment for Kyle. After presenting, a staffed engineer said, “For what it’s worth you guys should hire Kyle.” “Seeing approval from some of the guys—It felt really nice,” Kyle said.  

This summer when the interns arrived, Tuthill Springfield engineering team was fully staffed, with Director Roger Palmer at the helm. “The whole environment has changed. It’s new product driven,” Kyle said. They also have made a concerted effort to assist the shop floor. For a time, ECNs were backlogged. They now have reduced ECNs from nearly 300 down to 63.

Kyle also commended the engineering team’s diverse background from batteries to playground equipment. “Keith Webb has 15 years of experience and knows the history. A lot of new guys also bring a really cool perspective. We have really fresh engineering meetings. People are asking the ‘Why?’ questions like, ‘Why is it done this way?’ to prompt change.”

For Joel, he learned much about working with others and how to ask for help. “Everyone is so friendly, and people are so eager to help,” Joel said.

His own self-discipline was honed. At times he was managing up to eight ECNs at once. “I communicated with mentors, asking them directly, ‘What’s the most important thing for me to be doing right now?’” He now carries a planner everywhere he goes. It helps him divvy up his work and prioritize. He said it helps him “go home satisfied and not stressing.”

Above: Kyle Maples, left and Joel Hollender, right

Back at school, Joel works with a group called Engineers Without Borders. They are attempting to solve water issues in Ecuador, where there’s an ample supply of water, however it has been destroyed by large scale agriculture. They want to filter the water and distribute it to the community.

Kyle is president of the University of Arkansas Society of Automotive Engineers mini baja team. They design and build what he calls an “over-engineered Go Cart” that will compete with other universities from all over North America.