New Blogger: Emily Dixon

17 Feb

This past fall I took a semester off and moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Chattanooga is home to world-class white water, 1-gigabit per second internet, and major industry such as and Volkswagen, which started manufacturing there in 2011.

I worked as an engineering intern at Volkswagen within the Plant Infrastructure department. The Chattanooga plant is the first LEED Platinum certified automotive manufacturing facility in the world. To meet this certification, Volkswagen rehabilitated nearby wetlands, created a 9.5 million watt capacity solar park, and included rainwater reuse in the facility design.*

VW                                 The Volkwagen plant.

During my internship I worked on waste stream optimization projects with the environmental team. The vast and constant generation of waste in manufacturing environments makes organizing and recycling very cumbersome and costly. To help my team get a handle on where possible optimization opportunities would have the least impact on production,  I designed  and developed a waste stream map for the assembly floor that outlined waste generation locations, the type of waste, and the removal method. This map also allowed the waste contractor to design the most efficient pick-up routes for collection.

TDI                                 Trying out the assembly line.

Now that I am back at Smith I am excited to bring this experience back to my peers in the Picker Engineering Program. I am also excited about my new position as a CEEDS intern! This semester I will be helping to coordinate the MacLeish Field Station maple sugaring project. If you are interested in getting involved we would love to have you! Feel free to email me: edixon at

Emily Dixon ’15

Emily Dixon is majoring in engineering with a minor in landscape studies. She is excited to be a new CEEDS intern. During her first semester at Smith she was introduced to the field station through Paul Wetzel’s lab for BIO 155 Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation.

*For more information:

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