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Waupaca Foundry

Culture - Aug 4, 2020

Student Discovers Passion for Process Innovation with Waupaca Foundry

Mackenzie Morey | Waupaca Foundry

Sam Proft, Process Engineer and Metallurgy Intern.

Sam Proft is a Process Engineering and Metallurgy Intern at Waupaca Foundry’s ductile iron foundry located in Marinette, WI.  The summer of 2020, marks Sam’s second summer and first internship at Waupaca Foundry. She started working in production in 2019. Sam is studying Material Science and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.


Sam originally didn’t anticipate being part of Waupaca Foundry’s legacy, but fate had other plans. “My [first] supervisor recommended that this would be a really good job.” Working at Waupaca Foundry that first summer inspired her to pursue as an engineering degree and internship. At the time Sam hadn’t declared a college major. “When he roped me in I really enjoyed it”. This shaped her career outlook. Sam admits, “Waupaca Foundry changed the course of my career.” She declared a material science and engineering major, and keeps coming back to the foundry because of the passion for what she’s doing.

The supportive culture inspired Sam to pursue an internship, which was uniquely crafted to tailor to her interests—in both metallurgy and process engineering. “When I come in to work, everyone wants me to succeed.” A positive work environment is key to the success of employees. “They always say how well I am doing, which makes me feel like I am doing something good and makes me want to come back to work”.
Sam making sure the lasers are level with the mold stack and aligned together.
On a typical workday, Sam tests the lasers and ensures proper placement on the vertical molding machine(s), in addition to machine data transfer. If you ask Sam, the purpose of her internship is to improve efficiency and operational cost.

In her second summer, Sam was tasked with an unsolved project to improve laser utilization, functionality, and placement on the molding machines. Internships at Waupaca Foundry offer students the potential to make innovative and beneficial improvements to the company. “If this project is successful, we can determine if a product is or will be faulty, or not, before it hits the end line.” Sam’s project has the potential to increase efficiency and save money for the company.

Sam’s internship at Waupaca Foundry has had a tremendously positive impact on her. She has gained valuable hands on experience that cannot be learned in the classroom. “It’s an important job and I’m proud of doing it because when I accomplish something it makes me feel like I am really impacting the company”. Along with positively impacting the company, Sam is gaining hands on experience outside of the classroom.

Waupaca Foundry has a wide variety of employment opportunities for college students and young professionals on both the production side and management side. There are ample opportunities for career advancement in all areas of the business.

The Summer Help Program at Waupaca Foundry provides valuable work experience and an insight into the variety of careers in the metalcasting industry. Students interested in summer employment and internships at Waupaca Foundry are encouraged to apply.
“At Waupaca Foundry, I have learned so much in this internship with hands on experience that I never would have gotten at college.” – Sam Proft

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