Co-op in Beijing

student at the Great Wall of China

Written by Neil Suttora, a junior in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

About Me

Neil Suttora is a Junior at NEU in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He decided to go to China for his 2nd co-op because he loves the language and culture. If you don’t know him by my name you probably have seen Neil unicycling around campus to class or at the slacklines. Neil loves the outdoors and is part of the NUHOC club on campus.

Co-op in Beijing

My 2nd co-op in China was at the Beijing Institute of Technology. I worked as a Research Assistant for the Automation Department in their project to make a Biomimetic Fish. The uniqueness of this project was we were going to use a material called Electroactive Polymer (EAP). A material that is very flexible and has a unique property that allows it to stretch when a current is applied just like a muscle. Being able to work in a field that I was interested in and practice a language that I’ve been learning for a long time was really why I enjoyed this project so much. My supervisor spoke english very well so Chinese is not needed to know and the other lab students loved to practice their english. We started with research in how to make a robot fish move and work. Then I designed the tail mechanism in Solidworks and they 3-D printed it so I could show how it worked. We also programmed a simulation in MATlab. Those basic skills we leaned in classes were all I needed to be successful. I also learned many more skills in my programming and designing proficiencies. Beijing as a city is really cool too. With all the food and really friendly people there’s really nothing to hate except the pollution. I made many trips around Beijing to the Great Wall to fulfill my hiking needs and all the places in Beijing to visit are fun multiple times as well.  My favorite being the Heavenly temple for its huge lawns of grass and gardens to relax in.  The people and culture are fascinating and it didn’t take me long to get used to it. The food has endless variety and everything is cheaper than in America. I loved my time in Beijing, and if you choose to come for a co-op or even a study abroad I know you will too.

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering