Interns being asked to solve a Pertronic challenge

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Every year Pertronic Industries employs paid interns to apply their collective intelligence in solving technical challenges.

Often a practical, in-house work-experience is required for the near graduates to complete their degrees.

This year, three students in different disciplines who have all finished their final year, are examining how to provide a specific communication output in a fire alarm system (It’s necessarily a hush hush project until Pertronic can get it to market).

Jamie U will soon qualify as a software engineer from Victoria University of Wellington. During her four year degree she specialised in cyber physical systems such as embedded firmware.

“Most of my experience is in software, so it’s great to get this embedded systems experience now, rather than in the future,” she says.

Sam Middleton has particular expertise in embedded systems design and programs, especially as related to mechatronics after his four years at the University of Canterbury.

Mechatronics is a mix of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. Its increasing application is in robots and control systems and everything in-between.

 “In the two weeks I’ve been here I’ve just finished the schematic design for half the circuit,” Sam says.

“Then we’ll design the Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), and they’ll be attached to development boards to make sure everything works.

“And then, crossed fingers, we’ll design the schematic for the whole thing.”

With a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Electronics and Electrical Systems from Victoria University, Corban Van Manen says the Pertronic work experience is invaluable.

“If I got to stay, I wouldn’t mind that either,” he says.

“Our project’s a real challenge in managing power consumption, a balancing act. For some of it we’re doing calculated guesses, how much each parameter can be and hoping we get it right. It’s been pretty interesting stuff so far.”

The Pertronic interns are working closely with our 25 strong research and development team.

We have a long wish-list of projects we’d also like to do…having a talented outside team help take a major product to working prototype stage is a win for all parties.