The Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) hosted a series of virtual presentations from the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) Fall Engagement students. The 50+ virtual participants observed six intriguing presentations from students that ranged from “Design of a Humanitarian Ship for Relief Missions” to “Lithium Ion Battery Thermal Runaway Mitigation.”
The NREIP is a college internship program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) that places students in Department of Navy (DoN) laboratories during the summer to conduct research.
The special fall session consisted of 29 participants from 23 universities and spanned 10 different majors. Due to COVID-19, these students were unable to participate in a summer internship at a DoN lab, so the Center for Innovative Machinery Design & Integration (CIMDI) stepped in to virtually host five different project teams.
This virtual internship was, in fact, not the program’s first.
“The Fall Engagement Program was NSWCPD’s second virtual NREIP program of 2020 (and ever),” said Tristan Wolfe NSWCPD’s STEM Outreach program manager. “NSWCPD offered a virtual summer internship program following the COVID-19 shut down, but was only one of a few DoN labs to offer such a program. That left several students with rescinded awards for NREIP internships nationally. NSWCPD worked with ONR to provide opportunities to these students and wrapped them into this short-term program conducted in the fall.”
As the pandemic cancelled any in-person lab experience, the program moved into a virtual space, which allowed for a continuous and expanded engagement opportunities with the students.
“I think most of us have received some sort of rejection letter in our lives, but not many have been offered a congratulatory award letter followed by a rejection letter,” explained Wolfe. “That’s what these students experienced prior to the NREIP Fall Engagement Program. This gave the DoN an opportunity to turn around and say ‘We weren’t able to make last summer happen, but we haven’t forgotten about you’. Additionally, this gave NSWCPD the opportunity to engage students who we typically aren’t as effective in engaging due to geographical distances.”
Moving to an online environment didn’t deter students from taking advantage of the program.
“I really enjoyed the NREIP program,” said Shelby Platner, a sophomore at Virginia Tech majoring in material sciences and engineering. “While it was different than the summer internship would have been, I am thankful for the effort made to give us a taste of that experience. Even in the short time period, I learned a lot, not only about the project I was doing, but also the projects other interns were working on and more about the organization as well.”
“I thrive on in-person interactions, so while this online format may have been disadvantageous in some ways, I was able to collaborate with other students and employees across the country, all while living at school,” added Platner. “This would not have been possible in a normal in-person environment. Thanks to video conferencing technologies, we were able to make the best of the situation. I was still able to make valuable connections with my peers and mentors, which is one of the most important outcomes of an internship.”
The teams worked on projects titled:
• Design of a Humanitarian Ship for Relief Missions (two separate teams)
• Analysis of Alternatives of Hardware & Software Requirements for Virtual Environment Creation
• Pulsed Power Multiphysics Design & Simulation for an Unmanned Remote System
• Lithium Ion Battery Thermal Runaway Mitigation
• Determination of Characteristics Due to Flutter of Small Beams
From a timeline perspective, students only had 40 hours to conduct the work, but they received mentorships from many NSWCPD Departments and Divisions. Despite the time limitations, students gave in-depth and detailed presentations using a variety of software programs displaying a detailed understanding of their respective subjects.
“These presentations were shockingly good!” exclaimed Wolfe. “They exceeded expectations and those expectations were already high based on my check-in meetings on student progress throughout the mentor engagement period. I was contacted by several interested parties in getting access to the models and working files that the students presented. The work that they accomplished will be used to push forward NSWCPD’s technical work.”
The NREIP program created a great technical learning experience for the students, while providing valuable insight into the inner workings of the Navy.
“I learned about Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and how to use photogrammetry to create 3D models using various software,” noted Platner. “I enjoy working on projects that have real applications, and I was excited to brainstorm potential ways that our research could be implemented by looking at current practices of the Navy and trying to improve them. I now have a greater understanding and appreciation for the Navy and the many people and roles it takes to support such a large organization.”
For more information about these projects or mentorship, contact NSWCPD_STEM@navy.mil.
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,700 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.
|Date Posted:||01.08.2021 12:40|
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