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Summer High School Engineering Internships

No longer accepting applications for Summer 2017.

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including high school engineering (engineering only) internships.

Application period closed on February 20th.

Engineering internships are open to highly-qualified rising high school juniors and seniors on a competitive basis.  As a part of a research team, students contribute to ongoing engineering research, gain insight into lab practices and produce a final research poster based upon their experiences.


What does the engineering internship experience entail?
  • Students will take basic safety lab safety training prior to beginning their internship, as well as any additional training required for working in the specific lab of their mentor.
  • The internships run from the last week of June through the second week of August.
  • Students accepted into the program are expected to work 20+ hours a week, minimum (additional hours with faculty approval) for this internship, without vacation or co-occurring activities. The number of hours and schedule depend upon the mentor.
  • Each intern is required to meet with the Director of UD K-12 Engineering, when requested.
  • All internships will take place on the main campus at Newark, with very few exceptions. Students are expected to transport themselves. We do not offer parking reimbursements.
  • Each intern is expected to contribute to the lab, and attend & participate in lab meetings, if invited by their mentor to do so.
  • All mentors are required to produce a poster about the research in which they participated for our end-of-internship poster session. Details and a template will be supplied in the mandatory Wednesday lunch sessions.
  • Melissa Jurist must be cc:ed on all correspondence with your mentor and co-workers in the lab.
  • Few internships come with a stipend.

Here are examples some of the projects on which past interns have worked:

Nano-cavity enhanced photonic chemical sensor characterization
In this project, the student worked on characterizations of infrared glass thin films and nanophotonic sensor devices to detect trace amount of volatile organic compounds. The unique sensing mechanism enables single gas molecule detection, representing four orders of magnitude sensitivity improvement over current technologies. The student on this project learned basic laboratory skills, thin film deposition and characterizations, as well as microphotonic device processing and testing.

On-chip magneto-optical thin film and isolator device characterization
In this project, the student worked on characterizations of magneto-optical, oxide, thin films and integrated optical isolator devices to realize uni-directional light propagation on a chip. Previous results from this project have been published in Nature Photonics 5, 758-762 (2011).The student on this project learned basic laboratory skills, optical thin film, characterizations, as well as microphotonic device processing, and testing. 

Visualizing the structures of soft tissues on microscope
This project entailed studying the anatomy of soft tissues that are typically present in the joints of our body, such as the knee. Under the supervision of a graduate student, the student learned to dissect tissues from animals and identify distinct anatomical features using a microscope. The student also used computer programs to quantitatively analyze these anatomical features from the microscopic images.

Message from Melissa Jurist, Academic Program Manager:

I would like to make you aware of our high school engineering internship program that operates during the summer months.  The program, seven weeks in total, places highly qualified students into engineering labs with faculty, grad students and undergrads for a unique and personalized experience.  The students work FULL TIME with the lab team to learn about lab culture, the current engineering research being conducted and how to prepare for college and employment through our weekly pedagogical sessions.  Some of the internships come with a stipend, but most do not.  This is not a reflection on the applicants, but rather a grant-funded versus not-funded scenario.

The program demands full-time attendance, with no additional jobs, classes, or 
vacations of extended periods being taken during the internship.  We cannot be 
flexible on this. Failure to comply with this may result in removal from the program.

Our projects will include research currently being done in a variety of engineering fields, including collaborations involving more than one discipline. So, we encourage students to write their cover letter (which is required in the online application) targeting a field, or fields, of engineering in which they are interested. Also required for application are a letter or recommendation from a STEM teacher and a transcript.

I ask that parent/caregivers and students be economical in their correspondence with me.  That is, try to gather all questions into a single email, rather than sending me questions one-at-a-time.  Timely correspondence is hindered by multiple emails. 

The program is highly competitive, with an average acceptance rate of approximately 5%.  We look for students who have skills and/or interests that articulate with the work being conducted in the lab.  With all of this said, we would love to see you this summer and look forward to their applications.

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