Andrei Oraseanu, 23, the Shelter Island’s intern this summer in the office of Town Engineer John Cronin, gave a report of his work before the Town Board at Tuesday’S work session. Mr. Oraseanu’s time was dedicated to research and mapping all aspects of water on the Island and cataloguing information for the department and future interns. One of his accomplishments was gauging what would be needed to protect the pavilion at Wades Beach from traffic and recommending the handsome boulders that now ring the structure next to the parking lot.
The Reporter caught up with Mr. Oraseanu after his presentation.
Q: Where are you from?
AO: I was born in Romania but moved to Shelter Island when I was little and went to Shelter Island Schools. I was a big part of the science club, and in 8th grade Earth Science class I got really interested in space, which led to my interest in aerospace technology.
Q: What College are you attending?
AO: I study aerospace engineering at The Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.
Q: Why engineering?
AO: I like building things, figuring out why technically something works, or how to make something better.
Q: What drew you to interning for the town this summer?
AO: A good friend of mine, Wyatt Brigham, was the engineering intern two years ago. He told me about the internship. I thought it would look good on my resume and I’d wanted the experience, so I contacted John Cronin.
Q: Best part of the job?
AO: The variety. Out of the blue in the middle of the week, John could say, ‘We have this project about nitrates, do you want to tackle this?’ Or ‘Can you do some calculations to figure out how big this boulder has to be to put in front of the Pavilion at Wades Beach?’ There’s always something new.
Q: Favorite project you’ve worked on?
AO: The nitrate mass balance project, because it’s related to my field of aerospace engineering. Except in my field, when we do mass balances, it’s usually about a rocket engine—something is going in and something is going out. The only difference with the Island is that it’s not going anywhere. I thought it was really interesting that we were able to go to the Suffolk County Department of Health and actually talk to the people who can do something about nitrates.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AO: Working at NASA or another aerospace company like SpaceEx or Boeing.
Q: What special about the Island?
AO: I grew up here so I’ve never known much different. When I tell people at college about Shelter Island they think it’s crazy, but it’s just a different experience. The challenges of the Island — if you can even call them that — have just expanded upon the uniqueness of this place
Q: Any advice for future town engineering interns?
AO: Take as much knowledge from John as you can. Talk to everyone and get involved. John introduced me to a concept called “S.T.E.E.P.,” an acronym for Social, Technical, Environmental, Engineering, and Political. He showed me it’s not all math. You also have to talk to people in the government and the taxpayers and say, ‘Hey, this is the solution we came up with. Is it all right with you? Do you want to look for another solution?’