STEFFES SPOTLIGHT: Our 2018 Interns!

As August comes to a close, our 2018 Steffes interns are wrapping up their summer internships. 

This summer we had 9 interns, the most to date, split between Dickinson, Grand Forks West, and Grand Forks East. They all got together in Dickinson this week to participate in activities to mark the end of their internship experience.

On Tuesday morning, the interns went to a local charity in Dickinson, House of Manna, to volunteer for a few hours. House of Manna is a resource for those that are in need in our community. They assisted with cleaning and organizing the facility and their donations. House of Manna employees said our interns complete the amount of work in one morning that would normally take them over a week.

On Tuesday afternoon, we held the annual intern vs. supervisor challenge in the form of a bean bag toss tournament.

On Wednesday, the interns went to Medora as a group for their team building event. They played mini-golf and ate dinner at the Pitchfork Fondue.

The week concluded on Thursday when each intern gave a short presentation on what they have learned over the summer and shared some of the major projects they worked on.

Steffes’ internship program formally began in 2014. The goal is to provide students with a summer of hands on work experience that will allow them to learn skills that will enhance their career by being able to solve real problems and make an impact on the business. We currently have 7 full time employees that are former interns at Steffes. 

Meet our 2018 interns and learn about what they were up to this summer:


Dalton Jenkins- Manufacturing Engineering Intern- Dickinson

Dalton is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He was at Steffes as a co-op for the spring semester and stayed through the summer as an intern. He is originally from Scranton, ND and in his free time enjoys hunting, four wheeling, and working on vehicles.

  • ” I enjoyed interning at Steffes because it gives a great hands on experience. It gave me a solid foundation of engineering knowledge.”
  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Creating a layout in AutoCad for Steffes’ building expansion and assisting indetermining how to best utilize the new space.
    • Weldment Lift and Spin. An addition to improve the ergonomics of welding parts for our welders
  • What He Learned:
    • Better understanding of AutoCad
    • How to effectively communicate with suppliers and co-workers to help a project go smoothly
    • Kanban System and how lean manufacturing works
Jackson Smith- Manufacturing Engineering Intern- Dickinson

Jackson is originally from Dickinson and plans to stay through the fall semester as a co-op before he returns to NDSU to complete his degree in Mechanical Engineering. His hobbies include playing golf and competing in Battle Bot competitions.

  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Designing and implementing 17 JII’s. These improved ergonomic and organization issues for production workersi.
    • Organized and Optimized the layout of the Bobcat Assembly area.
    • Create and update standard work procedures to improve processes.
  • What He Learned:
    • “I learned problem solving skills. I was able to recognize key problems and then engineer a way to solve it.”
Jacob Knecht- Manufacturing Engineering Intern – Grand Forks West

Jacob is originally from Grand Forks and is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at UND. In his free time he enjoys hockey, golf, and going to the lake.

  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Designing and implementing a drying system to speed up drying time on the paint line at Grand Forks West.
    • Designing a returnable shipping container for the bent tubing on for stump grinders.
  • What He Learned:
    • Strengthened AutoCad modeling skills.
    • Communication skills
  • “I loved the amount of hands on, not just computer time, that this internship gave me. Other internships are all computer time. I was able to learn life lessons that you can’t learn in the classroom.”
John Spanos- Manufacturing Engineering Intern- Grand Forks East’

John is from Litchfield, Minnesota and is a junior at UND where he is studying Mechanical Engineering, His hobbies include hunting, fishing, carpentry, and working on vehicles.

  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Designed and Implemented a Plasma table
    • Learned to weld so that he understand the process and can take that into account when designing things.
    • Made a pipe counter weight to hold pipe so that welders do not have to wait for a forklift to be free.
  • What He Learned:
    • How to weld
    • AutoCad skills
  • “I enjoyed being able to design something and then being able to build it myself.”
Preston Herring- Manufacturing Engineering Intern – Dickinson East

Preston is from Colorado but is attending South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also competes on a snowmobile team in which they design their own engine using alternative power. In his free time he like to ski, fish, and ride and work on motorcycles with his dad and sister.

  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Design a new work bench for tools in the East skid assembly bays.
    • Design a new system for storing flanges
    • Design and improve unistrut flow
  • What He Learned:
    • Problem solving. He learned how to think like an engineer to solve issues.
    • Creo skills
    • How to be a team player and communicate effectively
  • “This has been the best internship experience. I was able to improve a lot of my engineering skills and I had fun at work.”
Willy Jahner- Electrical Engineering Intern- Dickinson

Willy is from Dickinson and is attending NDSU where he is studying Electrical Engineering. In his free time he enjoys playing Pinochle, guitar, and a variety of sports.

  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Responding to CARs concerning the sparker on the flare controller and coming up with ways to solve them.
    • Updated the Therm Elect room in the ETS area
    • Proposed a new layout for the ETS Mez area to improve flow and optimize the space
  • What He Learned:
    • AutoCad and Creo
    • How the manufacturing part of a corporation operates and how engineering plays into that
Wyatt Kainz- Manufacturing Engineering Intern- Grand Forks East

Wyatt will be staying with Steffes through the fall semester as a co-op before returning to South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. In his free time he enjoys playing Disc Golf, motorcycles, and gaming.

  • A Few Projects He Worked On:
    • Wrote 3 new standardized work procedures to improve safety of operating machinery
    • Completed 62 sub assembly drawings
    • Submitted 4 JII’s to improve processes
    • Got a new crane installed in the East building to cut down on wait time
  • What He Learned:
    • How to recognize things that can be improved and solve them
    • Communication
    • Creating models in Creo
Mason Teigen- Apprentice Electrician Intern – Dickinson East
Paxton Miller – Accounting Intern- Dickinson


Thank you to all of our 2018 interns for their hard work and their contributions to Team Steffes! We hope to see you come back soon!