Mechanical Engineer Jonah Hessels developed and tested a new way to extract energy from ocean waves with the Korean Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering.
Jonah Hessells at the Korean Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO)

Offshore Wave Energy

As a mechanical engineering major and a student with a love for building and design, Jonah Hessels was very excited when he learned about his offshore wave energy internship at the Korean Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO). With the help of his mentor and supervisor, Jonah developed and tested a new way to extract energy from ocean waves. This idea was patented and is now being developed by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. Jonah, who actually began working with KRISO in high school, says, “Being able to see how far the system had come was a great lesson in engineering and manufacturing.” From spare bike parts in a garage in Virginia, to precise cut metal gears in South Korea, he followed the progress of the project. ­­“I was excited to be able to pursue my dreams of developing alternative energy technologies and to be able to do it while living in Korea was going to be a special opportunity,” Jonah shares. Working at KRISO placed Jonah at the cutting edge of large-scale offshore wave energy projects. Day-to-day he researched new ways to improve the system, designed additional parts and tested the apparatus in a large wave tank.

Immersed in Culture

Jonah cultivated many relationships with people throughout his time there, and he says that, “the most rewarding part of my trip was the relationships made and the conversations that I had.”

I AM INCREDIBLY THANKFUL TO THE MISTI PROGRAM, AND EVERYONE WHO HELPS TO SUPPORT IT, FOR THE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE I HAD IN KOREA THIS SUMMER. THE OPPORTUNITY TO FULLY IMMERSE MYSELF IN KOREAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE HAS DEFINITELY OPENED MY MIND AND CHANGED MY OUTLOOK FOR THE BETTER.

 

Jonah enjoyed fully immersing himself in the culture, and he was touched by the way that the community welcomed him. He says, “I very flattered by the many people who wanted to invite me over to their homes for dinner. Everybody was incredibly warm and friendly and I made many lifelong relationships.”

Interconnected World

Upon returning to the States Jonah feels as though his summer has been an incredibly beneficial part of his life. “I think that I have truly taken on a new perspective. I've met so many new people and had the opportunity to hear so many different stories that I now see the world as a more interconnected and whole system. I love being able to think about global issues through the eyes of different people and I feel that I can now personally relate to the world on a broader scale.”

  • Korea
  • Internship
  • MechE