The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) hosted a series of virtual presentations from the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) Fall Engagement Program (NFE) on Dec. 10, 2021.
The 50+ virtual participants observed four intriguing student presentations including “Designing an Unmanned Mobile Docking Mothership that provides recharging for Unmanned Air and Underwater Vehicles” and “Evaluating Electro-catalysts for Oxidation of Ethylene,” among others.
The NFE program offered students who applied for the NREIP but did not intern over summer 2021 at a Department of the Navy laboratory, an opportunity to participate in the program during the fall, under the mentorship of NSWCPD engineers and scientists. The program enabled participation from academically talented college students, graduating seniors, and graduate students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers the chance to learn about naval research and technology.
“This year’s program included 19 students from 18 different universities across 11 states. The projects that the students complete are largely designed to be multi-disciplinary, pushing students to determine how their specific and differing backgrounds and experiences can best serve the project. This year’s cohort included students from 10 different science and engineering majors,” said NSWCPD STEM Outreach Program Manager Tristan Wolfe.
The NREIP Fall Engagement students worked on teams such as the:
• Unmanned Vessel Design Team
• Energy Storage Research Team
• Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) Remote Machinery Monitoring, Maintenance, & Repair Team
• Evaluation of Electro-catalysts for Oxidation of Ethylene Team
From a timeline perspective, though students only spent 40 hours engaged in research activities, they received mentorships from many NSWCPD departments and divisions. The presentations represented a detailed analysis of their respective subjects.
“I’m always excited to see how the students steer and provide value to these projects in unexpected ways. I often find myself forming questions that are ultimately answered during the presentations. That seems like a little thing, but to me it indicates that they’ve put some serious thought into the technical details of their projects,” said Wolfe, adding, ”I’m never asking softball questions like, ‘What was your favorite part of this project?’ I’m impressed by what they accomplished under a limited timeline, coordinating across multiple time zones, while simultaneously going to school.”
“I really enjoyed the NREIP program,” said Stefan Didoszak, a sophomore at University of Michigan-Dearborn majoring in computer engineering. “In my two years participating with the NREIP program, I was able to work with a handful of students from around the country and work with great mentors, who had great insight.”
Didoszak had the opportunity to complete the Navy’s Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) in high school. That eight-week summer program enabled him to learn about naval research and technology, preparing him for the NREIP program.
“I feel that after two years of participating as a fall Intern for NREIP has solidified my pursuit of working for the Department of Defense (DoD), and I hope to experience the full internship next summer. This year I learned about Digital Twins, which allow the Navy to simulate and understand different types of failures through software, aiding in research and current issues,” said Didoszak.
Didoszak participated on the MTTR Team, mentored by NSWCPD’s Nick Scarpato and Cassie Miller. The team researched common and critical naval machinery systems and sensor systems currently installed on manned ships and recommended maintenance cycles for these systems. They also reviewed repair procedures and provided recommendations for increased monitoring, as well as for reduced and remote maintenance and repair of common and critical naval machinery systems. The student team leader was Shawn Araki and team members included Benjamin Stimac, Ishmail Koroma, Brianna Hewlett and Didoszak.
“The NREIP Fall Program is worth it for those who weren’t accepted for the summer internships, as it gives you experience with NREIP, and it also gives you opportunities to work with students and faculty from around the country. It also is a benefit that you can complete it during school. Those who complete NREIP will ultimately learn how the DoD utilizes its facilities, the complexity of work, as well as a variety of careers to pursue,” Didoszak added.
NREIP is a competitive program with over 800 placements in 47 laboratories around the country in which many participants go on to careers within DoD. Interns are selected based upon academic achievement, personal statements, recommendations, and career and research interests.
For more information about these projects or mentorships, contact NSWCPD_STEM@navy.mil
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,800 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.