CGM Spotlight: Matthew Weippert

September 12, 2022

What year are you in school and what is your major?

I am a Sophomore at the University of Illinois majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

What career paths are you considering?

The career path I am considering pursuing the most is one in the aerospace/defense industry. Being an engineer in this industry is particularly rewarding because the projects you will work on are truly at the cutting-edge of our current technological capabilities.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

I loved how every project was based on a problem we needed a solution to. This was my favorite part because it allowed me to choose how to solve the problem, which not only allowed me creative freedom but gave me the opportunity to hone the specific skills I need as an engineer.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your internship?

I learned a lot about embedded systems coding. Before embedding code onto a functional device, I was used to running sample code through testing suites and local compilers and watching as my code either passed these testing suites or completed whatever action was demanded of the computer I had written the program on. However, minus a compiler that ensures your code can run, you have no idea if your code works until you run many physical tests on the device, and use these tests to edit the program. The amount of work needed to fine-tune the code within the program to make the machine run properly was surprising, and its importance cannot be understated.

What things from school did you apply during your internship and how did they impact you and CGM?

I applied my Computer Aided Design skills to build casing components for the color comparator, I used my knowledge of programming gained from my Computer Science classes to write the code for the same project. Beyond this, a lot of the skills I needed to complete the projects were learned as I completed the internship. The electrical wiring knowledge was learned on the
job as I needed it for the Vorne XL system and the comparator, and my knowledge of inventory systems was learned on the job in order to best organize our non-inventory items.

Tells us the weirdest anecdote you have about glue. (fact, story, etc.)

I found out some time ago that the bull or cow used as Elmer’s glue logo is more than just a cute mascot, it represents the integral part of animals (like cows) played in glue manufacturing. Doesn’t change the fact that the logo is still cute!

What’s your go-to snack? 

It is not so much a snack as it is a snacking habit. Oftentimes I will go into a Walmart when it is close to closing and head straight to the bakery section. Most of the time they have a cart of discounted items because they are expiring soon. I will choose whatever the most chocolatey thing is on this cart and buy it, usually at a massive discount. Nothing beats a 10-pack of Walmart chocolate chip cookies.

Tell us about your family.

I have an amazing and loving family made up of my parents Michelle and Shane, and my twin brother, Ryan. Ryan and I are extremely close, and whenever I am back home from college we try to spend all our time together, even if it is just for a cruise around town in his Crown Victoria. He is someone who can fix nearly anything from Spooky Town houses to automobiles,
and is about to become an apprentice in the pipefitter’s union. My mom is the most loving, caring person I know and has been there for me as a shoulder to cry on and as a person who I have been able to confide in my whole life. Whenever I need help or advice, she is there with it (and is right about 99.5% of the time). She has always said that since she was a little girl, she wanted children, and based on how she has raised me and my brother, it shows. My dad has been a great role model for me from the time I was little, as I have always noted and appreciated the long hours (sometimes 12 per day) he would work to ensure his family had a nice life. However, just because he works a lot doesn’t mean he doesn’t play harder; he remains one of the most fun and funniest people I know and is probably where I get a lot of my sense of humor from.

What’s your favorite movie or tv show?

Breaking Bad has to be my favorite TV show, followed closely by the anime, Code Geass. To some degree, they are similar stories about two people leading double lives to fulfill some altruistic ideal, who later become corrupted by the method they use to attain power before finally earning redemption through their deaths. (Sorry if I spoiled anything.)

To learn more about what Matthew learned during his internship you can watch his video presentation.