Smith Internship at GE Healthcare - Summer 2006

Cameron SmithCameron Smith
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Year: junior
Major: biomedical engineering
My internship this summer has been in the CT Systems Engineering department at GE Healthcare headquarters in Waukesha, WI (just outside of Milwaukee). My project this summer has primarily been to work on characterizing the size of the x-ray focal spot produced by the x-ray tube employed in GE Healthcare's newest line of high definition CT scanners that is yet to be released.
In order to do this I was provided with an x-ray photon camera, but because this device is quite expensive, I was also asked to come up with and validate a simpler method that could be used as a standard in determining the x-ray tube focal spot size. Given this assignment, I was essentially left to work independently while the doors of my engineering team were always open if I had any questions.
The final product of my project was a user interface that I developed in MATLAB that allows the user to perform test scans that essentially result in being able to determine the x-ray focal spot size without the use of any special equipment.
I did not receive very much specific training as I was expected to know how to use UNIX/MATLAB fairly well; however, I did receive training on how to operate the CT scanner safely. I really enjoyed the fact that I was given the freedom to work independently and produce something that I can truly own as my personal contribution to the design of GE's latest CT scanner.
I think the internship experience has been valuable to me in that I have learned how to work as part of an engineering team, and I have had the opportunity to further develop some computer skills that were certainly less developed before I participated in my internship this summer.
For more information about GE Healthcare, visit their website at: http://www.gehealthcare.com/usen/index.html