Chris giving thumbs up by a UPS plane replica

A Day in the Life: Christopher Schenck

Christopher Schenck, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering, is spending the academic year in Louisville, Kentucky, on a co-op with UPS. Currently, Schenck is working with the Powerplant Engineering team, who maintains UPS’ plane engines, allowing daily touchpoints with products from companies such as GE and Rolls-Royce. He shares a day from his time with the company so far.

Chris giving thumbs up by a UPS plane replica

7 a.m.

After getting ready and having four chocolate chip waffles, I drive to the UPS Air Group Building. When I get inside, the first things I do are check my email/team’s messages, chat with my co-workers and fellow co-op, Harper, and grab food if someone brought it in (today we had Chick-Fil-A Chicken Mini’s). Getting into what we do, our work as the Powerplant Engineering team can be split up into two main categories: maintenance and compliance.

My role specifically as a co-op is to support the engineers in their work, mainly my supervisor. My work ranges from documenting ADs, SBs, or EOs in our system to tracking engine parts in excel. Sometimes we’ll even head down to the UPS Worldport with our engine’s acquisitions expert to see how the hands-on side of UPS operates. What I do is dependent on who needs me at any given time.

Chris giving thumbs up

8:30 a.m.

Normally, I’ll have tasks from the day before that need to be finished, so I’ll get started working on those when I get in. If not, I’ll wait to meet with my supervisor to go over what I did yesterday and what he has planned for us today. Yesterday, our supervisor found out that our documentation for the common core engine starters and output shafts in our PW2000, RB211, and CF6 engines were being tracked incorrectly. It was Harper and I’s job to check the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) component maintenance manuals (CMMs) and make an excel spreadsheet of which starters are compatible with which system. This will be used as a guide for documentation and shipping purposes when an engine needs one of those parts. Today, we went over that with him to make sure it was correct.

Cafeteria - showing salad bar

11:30 a.m.

At around 11:30 AM, most of the engineers head to lunch. We have a cafeteria on the first floor of our building and is where I go if I do end up eating lunch. However, most people go off-site since our building is close to a lot of great restaurants. My team loves going to get Skyline Chili or tacos on Taco Tuesday. If you choose not to eat lunch and stay at your desk, you could hear a pin drop with how quiet it is since everyone has left.

UPS Plane

1 p.m.

During this time, I’ll continue working on any task that my supervisor has given me. We may have a small meeting with him to go over our work again if needed, but for the most part I’ll end up working straight through until I go home. Right now, up until around mid-November, UPS is in a “dead period,” so I don’t have as much to do. Our work normally ramps up around the holiday seasons, as that’s when our planes are being used more often since people are buying (and shipping) packages at higher rates.

Chris in front of plane engine

2 p.m.

One thing that I work on that is an ongoing process within the aircraft engineering team is our transition to a new documentation system called Maintenix. As previously mentioned, documentation is a huge part of what we do, and up until a few years ago we had been documenting everything by paper and uploading it to a shared folder. UPS wanted to upgrade to a newer system that made mapping and building documents easier, Maintenix.

When I am working, most of my time is spent rebuilding and fixing errors found on the documents within Maintenix. This ranges from fixing smaller things like the applicability rules of what engines an EO effects to having to completely rebuild an entire task hierarchy based on legacy documents. Our supervisor tries to treat us as regular engineers and we often work as a team which I enjoy. He’ll give us something to look at and try and fix, we’ll work on it and do what we can, and then we’ll come back to him with any questions we have and repeat this process until we’re finished.

Chris in front of a computer

4:30-9:45 p.m.

I get home at around 4:30 p.m. every day, and after talking to my parents about my day at work, I start my wind down routine, which to me is equally as important as my workday. I go to the gym or for a walk every day to try and get out of my apartment. After that I’ll make dinner and throw on the TV. Hockey season is starting soon which I am very excited to watch now that I have so much free time (go Devils!). Since I love music, I’m also trying to teach myself piano (poorly) as another thing to do during the night, which you can watch on my TikTok. Not having to study or do homework every day is nice as it gives me the opportunity to do and learn new things!

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