"The NASA Undergraduate Summer Research Program was absolutely perfect for me. I was working in the Electrical Power Systems branch at NASA Glenn Research center on a spreadsheet based analytical tool to evaluate various power architectures. I always had an interest in NASA and a desire to work there in the future and this experience showed me that I was in exactly the right major working towards exactly the right goal. It was amazing and also very surreal to be sitting in on meetings where they were seriously discussing the logistics of the power cable that will be used on the moon to power future habitats there. The project I was working on was used in a proposal to NASA headquarters for the new Crew Exploration vehicle, and I was asked to write a journal article about the work I had done. The summer was one of the most rewarding times of my life."
"After several years of college, I was eager to put my knowledge and skills to use in a real world environment. My professor encouraged me to apply for a summer research internship at the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing at UCLA. For two months, I worked in a small group alongside students from different majors on a research project that had significant technological and environmental implications. I was initially skeptical of this research-based internship because I was looking for something more practical. However, over the course of the summer I programmed antenna movements, updated existing hardware, and designed and assembled new power monitors; we even took the system out to a state park for its first off-campus field test. Not only did I have an incredible hands-on learning experience, I also had the opportunity to make new friends and explore the city of Los Angeles, which was quite an adventure in itself."
"I got involved in research this summer with Professor Jody O'Sullivan, in Electrical Engineering, Bill Smith, a professor in Earth and Planetary Science, and Tom Woolsey, a professor in Neuroscience at the Washington University Medical School. The project they were working on was Hyperspectral Brain Imaging. My job was to work with another undergraduate to help update the brain illumination with LED's and synchronize the operation of a multiple color LED array, a stepper motor, and a digital camera using National Instruments Lab view. All the professors with whom I worked were great and gave me a lot of independence in my work while still guiding me toward the ultimate goal."
"The senior design project has enabled me to really get exposed to systems science at an intricate level. Lengthy deadlines and limited supervision have made this project much like something a practicing engineer experiences in the work force. Besides gaining a thorough understanding of the science behind the system I worked on, I also learned how a practicing engineer might propose an idea, report their findings and present his or her work. It really gave me good insight as to what engineering is as a whole."
"I have interned with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) for the previous two summers, and it has been one of the greatest experiences I could have hoped for. The faculty gave me unexpected levels of trust and were there primarily to guide me and for help when needed. Initially I was just learning the knowledge base for my focus topic of the summer, providing an excellent platform to carry out further research past the summer. My research was in building a new model that predicts the behavior of membrane mirrors (used in adaptive optics) as they reach a point of self-destruction called snap-down. This model was something completely new, and I will be presenting it at the annual Directed Energy Professional Society's conference with a paper hopefully to follow. I think that this level of research at the internship level is almost unheard of, and I highly encourage other students to apply."