Ashwin Menon interns at Swagelok


When Ashwin Menon was a high school student in Independence, Ky., he did a research experiment with Nitinol. The shape-memory alloy’s properties piqued Menon’s interest in materials science.

Now, as a Mechanical Engineering major and Materials Science & Engineering minor at Case Western Reserve University, Menon is spending the summer interning at Swagelok, heat treating Inconel 625 and analyzing its properties. The nickel super-alloy is used often in fluid system components, among other applications. Every day, Menon runs experiments in Swagelok’s labs, as well as conducting research.

"I've learned a lot relating to heat treating, fluid systems and how materials science is applied to manufacturing processes,” Menon said of his internship. “I'm really grateful to be learning about how scientists and engineers operate in a corporate environment. It's interesting to see how research and development helps a business continuously improve.” During his time at Swagelok, he has appreciated seeing products being made on the production floor, as well as talking with Swagelok employees, many of whom are CWRU graduates. He hopes that by the end of the summer, he will have delivered technical studies on his materials.

Interested primarily in the intersections between mechanical engineering and materials science, Menon first learned about Swagelok when they had a booth at CWRU’s Fall 2021 Engineering, Technology & Science Career Fair. He was drawn to the corporate engineering aspect of the company.

"Swagelok is known for respecting interns, appreciating their contributions to Swagelok, and supporting their continued professional development,” said Peter Williams, Swagelok’s retired Chief Scientist.

Back at CWRU, Menon became the first Materials Science & Engineering minor to serve on the executive board of the Undergraduate Materials Society during the 2021-22 academic year. He thanked his EMSE 110: Transitioning Ideas to Reality instructor, Associate Professor Jennifer Carter, for “(allowing) me to pick her brain about how materials science and mechanical engineering intersected.”

Drawn to CWRU for the research opportunities, Menon, a rising sophomore, hopes to take advantage of CWRU’s B.S./M.S. program. After he graduates, he hopes to have a career in product development and to become a senior engineer at an “innovative” company like the one he is spending the summer at.

"Swagelok is such a great company to work for, especially as an intern,” said Menon. “They really take the time to help you on board and surround you with encouraging professionals. I encourage everyone to apply to their internship/co-op program, no matter their engineering discipline.”