The Ulven Companies Participation in MECOP produces Full Time Employees

Oct 08, 2012

The Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP), a cooperative effort among Oregon State University, Oregon Tech, and Portland State University, is available to students in disciplines related to the engineering field. The program was conceived in 1978 to close the growing gap between what was being taught in the classrooms and the skill and expertise needed for actual application in the work place. The program has now grown to include nearly 100 companies and over 400 students.

Jordan Reed was hired by the Ulven Companies last year after completing a semester in the MECOP Program. Jordan began working full time last year as an Engineering Intern for Ulven where he led an energy study to quantify energy use and identify cost saving opportunities. While working on this project, it became apparent that a re-design of the natural gas system could significantly cut costs for the company.

The study resulted in a proposal advising a consolidation of multiple gas meters (previously spread across the Ulven campus), to a single meter, which would ultimately result in a $25,000 annual savings. Of this change, Jordan said, “This project has been a shining example of how adding resources in key departments and taking a fresh look at old problems can result in very positive changes. This project has been beneficial to both NW Natural and Ulven because it simplified the natural gas system on our campus, reduced the amount of equipment that must be maintained and resulted in our gas meter being located in a safer place.”

As a MECOP intern turned employee, Jordan has been an immediate asset to the company as they drive Lean methodologies, manufacturing process optimization and implement other physical plant improvements.

Continuing to be active within the MECOP program, The Ulven Companies recently bid farewell to their second MECOP intern as he returned to school. This year, Joel Duhn, a Senior in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University, worked as an Engineering Intern at Ulven Forging, Inc. Joel had a significant positive impact on work-cell layout and facilities planning during his time at Ulven. Looking forward, Ulven plans to stay involved with MECOP and has an eye towards increasing the number of interns employed in coming years.

The Ulven Companies have been in the forging industry for over 40 years – starting with the creation of Ulven Forging, Inc. in 1971. The Ulven Companies now comprise a group of four different American companies and are privately held. Each company has its unique set of process capabilities in different areas of the industry and is known for bringing high quality, cost-effective products to its customers with reliability and integrity.

Contact: Dan Ulven, President TUC