The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is a federal nonprofit agency responsible for transporting the region's hydro, wind, nuclear and other electrical power to local electric distribution companies or larger customers. Within BPA's service are over 15,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines, 400 electrical substations, and 200 communication sites.
The Structural Design (TELD) group within BPA designs and assists with the construction and maintenance of the high voltage transmission and electrical substation structures and foundations on BPA's system. The intern selected for this position will work with engineers and engineering technicians in the Structural Design group. This internship will provide exposure and opportunities to explore different aspects of structural engineering design at BPA.
The student will have the opportunity to learn how engineering principles are applied to the design of structures and footings. He or she will be exposed to employing structural design tools and computer aided drafting (CADD). The student will learn about how CADD is used to translate engineering designs into plans and details that are used for fabrication and construction. The intern will use legacy hand-drafted and modern CADD drafted plans to build a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that calculates the center of gravity for BPA substation structures. The intern will also incorporate drainage plans with footing plans and associate the site location with geospatial coordinates.
In addition, the student will assist in collecting and organizing BPA's structural data for various sites or assets. BPA uses Bentley ProjectWise and Microsoft SharePoint to store and organize data. The data includes information on lattice transmission towers, wood and steel pole structures, substation structures, and associated foundation drawings and structural calculations. The student will be involved with updating these BPA databases. In addition to office work the student will have the opportunity to travel with BPA staff and contractors to visit transmission line and substation project sites. The student will be exposed to the principles of project coordination, including how teams of project managers, engineers, and construction crews work together to complete a project.
Through this experience the intern will be exposed to a broad range of engineering activities, and he or she will have the opportunity to tailor the internship to his/her own personal interests under the guidance of the mentor.