Patrick Davis, Building Envelope Materials
Follow your passion
Engineering undergrad Patrick Davis likes the kind of work where he can be hands-on, a tendency he probably developed growing up on a family farm in Maine.
“I’ve always really liked mechanical systems and building things,” Davis said. His family’s farm is Davis Dairy, just outside of Bangor, Maine.
Currently, he’s a senior at Tufts University in Medford, studying mechanical engineering. When he initially enrolled, he was in the biomedical engineering major, but soon realized that was too abstract, and changed his major to the more tangible mechanical field.
This past spring, he was looking for a summer internship by searching for startup companies on the website for Greentown Labs, a Somerville-based technology incubator with a manufacturing initiative.
That’s when Davis came across Building Envelope Materials, a company that makes and installs a minimally invasive retrofit insulation for buildings.
He reached out to the company’s founder, Doug Lamm, and set up an in-person meeting.
Patrick Davis, 20
Applications engineer intern
Company: Building Envelope Materials
Company location: Amesbury
Education level: Senior at Tufts University
Davis accepted an offer to be a paid intern and worked for the company in various capacities from mid-May to the end of August.
What stood out to Davis about the company early on was its mission.
“I really liked what BEM was doing,” he said.
Davis said the insulation technology was not only good for property owners because it helps them save on energy costs, it is also good for the environment.
Davis also liked being able to get his hands into different aspects of the small company, from working with microcontrollers to the installation process to figuring out an outline for the manufacturing process.
He credits a lot of those opportunities to the fact that BEM is a small startup.
“It was super cool,” Davis said. “Not something I had experience with, but very interesting.”
He said he learned a lot from the experience, especially by seeing the business side of engineering “you don’t get exposed to in engineering school.”
Ultimately, he’d be happy to work at any company, big or small, as long as it applies useful engineering as a way to benefit the greater society, Davis said.
Though pay is a top concern he said, given the high cost of living in Massachusetts and the student debt he is accruing.
His advice to other young people getting into the industry is to look at the mission of the company that’s offering them a job. If it’s not something they can get passionate about it, they shouldn’t work there for long.