Global Leader in Industrial Engineering Cryogenic Applications Focused on Student Growth and Development

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc., in La Crosse, Wis. is a worldwide supplier of heat exchangers. Each semester, they bring in one or more engineering student interns from Viterbo University. The students can build their skills in a real-world environment while contributing to projects, learning from professionals in the field, and earning money.

Greg Hundt, product engineering supervisor, said he and his coworkers enjoy mentoring the students and watching as they grow. “I am very pleased with how it is going,” Hundt said about the internship program. “Overall, our location is very happy with the experience we have with the Viterbo team and the interns that come our way.”

Viterbo Intern finds Chart a Meaningful, Hands-on Opportunity

Camden Smith working on a calculation check.png
Camden Smith working on a calculation check.

Camden Smith, ’24, is a Viterbo student from Sioux City, Iowa. He has enjoyed his internship experience with Chart, where he is involved in the everyday operations within the product engineering department. “We take part in submitting designs, performing calculations, and checking calculations,” Smith said. He explained how interns’ work is double-checked by engineers, a standard practice. “I feel as though I am invested in the work being performed, as opposed to some internships that may not give the intern much meaningful work,” he said.

Viterbo partners with eight area companies in what Emily Vanderfleet, Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering described as a unique arrangement that covers a wide range of disciplines and is a positive experience for students, employers, and the university.

Chart Offers Interns a Flexible, Growth Focused Environment

“I like hiring, mentoring, and developing young students,” Hundt said. “It’s a perfect arrangement. We offer flexibility and we can work around interns’ course schedules. If they have light coursework, they can come work 20 hours a week, if that fits.”

“We actually lean on them to contribute to real-life work,” Hundt continued. “They are helping us execute on projects. I think they enjoy that. We do not give them low-priority projects.”

Hundt explained how he has gone to a number of different events at Viterbo, including student capstone project presentations, where attendees listened and asked students questions. He has also participated in resume and interview practice sessions that the engineering department has hosted.

Smith shared that some of his favorite internship projects at Chart have included submittals that involve most of the calculations necessary for heat exchanger operation, including problem solving skills to ensure the heat exchanger meets the customer’s needs and Chart standards.

Bright Employment Outlook for Graduating Engineers

Alyssa Gostonczik, Director of Advising and Career Development at Viterbo, provided a report on recent graduates. One hundred percent of 2022 engineering graduates who reported, found a job.  Those who remained in the La Crosse region accepted positions with Tailored Label Products, Inc., Trane Technologies, and Braun Intertec Corporation as manufacturing and automation engineer, product engineer, and construction material tester, respectively.

Several graduates moved to neighboring states for positions in consulting and tooling engineering. One graduate started a master’s program at an out-of-state university.

According to the website O*Net,, engineers in the La Crosse area earn on average, $106,180 annually, an income that out paces the average annual earnings of engineers throughout the state and the U.S. 

“The internship program is addressing a need that area employers have,” explained Vanderfleet. “There is a range of opportunities for students.”