Get to know Orbital Research

Sherrisse, engineering/R&D co-op student, May-December 2019

Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Sherrisse Chu and I’m a third-year Mechanical Engineering student at UBC. I’m also running a design team at school called UBC Mars Colony.

What does your typical day at Orbital Research look like?

My days at Orbital Research start with a stand-up meeting with other Engineering/R&D team members. In these short meetings, we share our goals for the day, which tasks we have completed, and which need some help to stay on track

What did you learn at UBC that helped you at Orbital?

The technical communication I learned in school helped me collaborate with people outside the company. An example was when I was asked to reach out to the manufacturer of a 3D printer to fix its issues. The ability to understand and use technical language made the process more efficient. Software skills and other engineering basics were important as well in completing my daily tasks.

Which activity/task was your favourite?

I always find it fun to design projects from scratch. This Test Jig I’m working on is one of them, and it’s my last assignment at Orbital Research before going back to school. I got to take responsibility for it from beginning to end. It’s a challenging yet valuable experience for me to learn from.

How will the co-op experience benefit you in the future?

This was my first co-op, so it played an important role in giving me my initial industry experience and especially the chance to work with professional engineers on real tasks.

What was the most important thing you learned?

I learned how to apply knowledge from textbooks to solve practical problems, and that in real life, it’s often more about common sense than precise calculation.

Do you have any advice for upcoming co-op students?

Be wise and careful with your time investment and raise your questions to the senior engineers when in doubt. There are existing templates that help ease the process so don’t waste your time trying to reinvent them, or else you’ll find yourself running in circles.


Interested in joining the Orbital Research co-op program? Reach out to your university or contact us for more information.