Cooperative education program

Our cooperative education program allows participants to further explore their chosen engineering discipline, build a powerful resume, develop a network of professional contacts, and help support their academic expenses through real-world experiences.

Hands-on Experience: Transforming your view of school

Students have at least three semesters working in a position related to their major.

Students will theory from classes to solve actual engineering problems.

Co-op is an opportunity to develop a professional network of engineers and organizations.

The competitive salary from co-op can help offset tuition fees without impacting FAFSA.

Housing or living stipend is sometimes offered from the employer.

More likely to be offered a permanent position upon graduation.

Highlighted Student: Aaron Redman

Aaron Redman, CSU Mechanical Engineering student and co-op participant
Aaron Redman, CSU Mechanical Engineering student and co-op participant

What's the Co-op experience really like? Read about Mechanical Engineering student Aaron Redman's hands-on experience below.


“I assisted in the pre-start and start-up of commercial grade HVAC units. Pre-start involves ensuring each unit is properly built (wiring is done correctly, motors greased, no loose wires). Start-up involves calibrating the units so that they run most efficiently.

Startup also involves testing units to ensure all systems are working properly (air flow dampers, actuators, compressors, fans, VFD’s, sensors, etc…) and the units are outputting the desired airflow. The whole startup process involves mechanical and electrical work, as well as a bit of programming. “

What surprised me the most:

“I was surprised how much went into HVAC. I didn’t think there would be a whole lot to it, but once when I got a look inside the industry, I realized it was a lot bigger than anything I could’ve imagined. 

When working with larger commercial equipment, a lot of things that one would think is really simple becomes more complex. “

Mechanical engineering summer interns work at the Adaptive Robotics Laboratory at the Powerhouse Energy Campus.
Get more information on eligibility, prerequisites, financial information, and more.
Have questions? We're here to help students and employers!
Please contact the Engineering Success Center at


The gifted students in our cooperative education program are ready to learn from the best employers in the industry. You are the key to shifting them from engineering students to world-class engineers.

Employer Highlight:
Western Mechanical Solutions

Photo of engineering equipment from Western Mechanical Solutions, with mountains in background.
"Our goal is to bring in Mechanical Engineering students who have completed some engineering courses and have them learn on construction sites during summers, setting a path to move into a company after graduation really understanding the business."

Brian Lynch
Owner, Vice President, Western Mechanical Solutions, llc

What will an intern see working with you that they won’t in school?

An intern will learn how buildings come together, have extensive experience on construction sites, and have invaluable hands-on experience that most engineers don’t get.  As an intern you’ll learn not only about design but also about the troubleshooting side of profession and the skill sets needed when things don’t work as intended.  Interns will see how one part of a design can either make using a machine simpler, or a significant amount harder.

Interns get firsthand experience including:

    • Thermodynamics (direct expansion cooling, water coils, energy recovery)
    • Fluid dynamics
    • Control Sequences
    • System Choice
    • Power and control wiring diagrams.

Getting started

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