Skip to content
Ian Tulk working on car parts during his internship at Honda

Student Spotlight: Ian Tulk

Aerospace engineering major with mechanical minor Ian Tulk completed an internship with Honda Development Manufacturing America in Lincoln, Alabama during the fall 2023 semester.

My name is Ian Tulk, and I am a senior studying aerospace engineering minoring in mechanical. Recently, I took a semester off to do a parallel term internship at Honda Development Manufacturing America (HDMA) at the plant in Alabama. This plant is responsible for the production of all of Honda’s light trucks and SUVs in the world, as well as their 6-cylinder engines.

Within Honda engineering, I worked in the supplier assurance department in the purchasing division of Honda manufacturing in North America. My primary responsibility was to manage parts quality concerns from a specific group of suppliers and communicate and eliminate these problems. This was done through making sure the parts in question comply with drawing specifications and Honda’s engineering standards in order to minimize line downtime. This also sometimes involved traveling to the local or international suppliers to ensure their processes were robust. During my time, aside from managing suppliers, I was assisting in the data analysis for Honda’s high body accuracy activity in order to achieve fit and finish goals for future models. During my tenure, I had great leadership from my mentors, and they were friendly and always willing to help and answer questions. I learned a lot about how a manufacturing environment operates and what goes in to keep a production line moving, as well as analytical skills when looking through part scan data and drawings. I was also lucky enough to be able to volunteer on the Honda America racing team with other full time associates where I would go by our shop after hours to help work on some of the cars there. This included a civic type R cup car, Odyssey minivan, and an Acura MDX. I was involved in the maintenance and tuning of these cars and learned about different components and how to maintain them. Now I have the confidence I did not have before to work on my own car!

I would recommend this to any of my fellow students looking for a great opportunity to work and learn about a manufacturing environment. Not only do they offer internships in parts quality but also in design, welding, paint, and casting. I am looking forward to using the connections that I have made here to pursue an internship or career in Honda’s aerospace division. That said, it is a great overall internship that encompasses a lot about being a mechanical engineer, and I will continue to use these skills in my continuing education and future career. If you would like to learn more or have any questions about engineering, resumes, or the internship/co-op process, feel free to reach out to me or stop by the Engineering Professional Practice Office.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

View our Privacy Policy.