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Using Summer Internship Programs To Enhance Senior Design Projects For Undergraduate Engineering Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1258.1 - 8.1258.6



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Paper Authors

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Joseph Arumala

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Ibibia Dabipi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1532


I. K. Dabipi and J. O. Arumala

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, Maryland

A summer internship program supported by NASA was designed to give some undergraduate Engineering and Engineering Technology majors very unique professional experiences by matching them with mentors in the NASA Wallops Facilities. Six undergraduate students worked on several projects during a 10-week summer internship program at the Wallops Facilities. Five of the students are electrical engineering majors and one a major in Aviation Sciences. This paper is on the work done by the electrical engineering students. The students participated in several activities, held bi- weekly meetings to report on their activities, wrote a final report and made a final presentation to NASA staff. There was an exit meeting to access and reflect on the program. One important thing that emerged was the possibility of students, individually and in groups working on senior design projects on on-going projects at the Facility with the help of NASA mentors. Having identified the mentors and the projects during their summer internship, the students are expected to work on senior design projects based on the on-going projects at NASA Wallops. This approach will make the students’ senior design projects and experiences more industry oriented and practical. Through series of reports and presentations, they also worked on their communication skills and record keeping. The students worked on practical projects that helped them better understand some of the materials that they learnt in the class room. This paper discusses issues on relevance of internship projects toward senior design for undergraduate engineering students and the impact they have on the undergraduate students’ overall industrial experiences.


Summer internships for students in general have focused on providing students with a meaningful experience that will motivate and refine the students’ study habits when they return to their home campuses for continuation of their studies These experiences in most cases, however, never translate to senior design projects sometimes due to the distances between the internship host site and the university and in other instances as a result of the nature of activities the students’ were engaged in. With the proximity of NASA Wallops to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and the need for engineers by NASA, a unique opportunity exists to create an outreach program that will foster student development in areas critical to NASA’s missions and to become a resource pool for prospective engineers and scientists to NASA Wallops facility. The chosen mechanism was to establish a focused internship program “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Arumala, J., & Dabipi, I. (2003, June), Using Summer Internship Programs To Enhance Senior Design Projects For Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11847

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