This will be my final entry. I have learned more than I ever thought possible and had the best experience ever this summer at Lockheed Martin. The end of my internship crept up on me and it seems so sudden that it is going to end this week. My last day will be this Wednesday. I won’t be bored between then and the beginning of school though because I am heading right up to Vero Beach to complete my Scuba Diving Instructor course before school begins again.
This last week will mostly be filled with writing up reports, summaries, and presentations of the work I have done for the customer as well as my coworkers. The work I have done was more in depth and more important to the program than I thought was possible for me when I was going into this. Some people are actually complaining and telling me that I shouldn’t leave because I have been doing so much good work that they will be swamped with the project when I leave! Unfortunately no one is offering me a full time salary yet so I am going to be heading back to classes in the fall. A full time job will be happening soon enough though and I will be enjoying my time at Embry-Riddle while I have the chance.
Last night we had a farewell dinner at a nice restaurant with all 12 of the interns. It was paid for by the HR department to our great pleasure. We all received humorous certificates as well as serious ones congratulating us on the work we’ve done this summer. Everyone pitched in to buy our HR contact Paula some roses, a thank you card, and a gift card because she had done everything for the internship program.
All in all, I must say it was a complete success in terms of experience and a lot of fun too.
Wednesday, and everything is still great.
The weeks have been going fast. I have been spending every day on the RHOV project learning every aspect of the vehicle’s design and the simulation. Having gone from never even seen a hydrodynamic coefficient to being one of the main personnel working on the project has been quite an experience. I now spend my days working with the other engineers as a peer: attending scheduling meetings, calling vendors, and independently providing results for crucial parts of the project. This internship is providing me with more professional experience than I thought possible with my, so far, limited education
Outside of work has also been excellent. My roommate, who is a project manager here, and I go running every morning before work. I also met a few people through friends in work with sailboats and motor boats and have regular invitations to go out on the weekends. Someone I work just across from also has a boat and is an avid scuba diver so we started talking about going out diving and it seems like it will turn into a regular weekend activity. The internship administrator also has a couple of BBQ’s and fun days out on the island in the river planned for us so there is no shortage of time to relax and enjoy the area.
There is another ‘lunch and learn’ today. This one is about underwater rocketry which I am really excited to hear about. I had never even really thought about the idea before and will be really interested to learn about how people solve all the problems of moving so fast underwater.
This week has been somewhat difficult because I started out tired. I had flown up to NJ to see my mom for her retirement party which was awesome. I got to see tons of family and friends and neighbors I haven’t seen in a while. On the flight back on Sunday afternoon though, my plane was delayed for about six hours having me end up getting back to sleep in Florida at about two in the morning. I am slowly recovering and the flex time helps me out with letting me be lazy when I want to and work less some days.
The internship ‘family’ has also grown over the course of the summer. We started out as six of us together but so far I think maybe six more college level interns have started work, as well as three high school interns from a nearby school. It’s almost getting hard to remember everyone but luckily we all see each other a couple times a week for either work or fun.
Well I must go back to playing with my toy submarine to help me visualize coordinate systems and simulation parameters. Have fun!
P.S.: I learned that underwater rockets use a blunt nose to create a bubble of low pressure water which spontaneously boils creating a cloud of vapor around the rocket so its moving through a cloud of gas, not liquid, reducing drag by almost a 1000 times! Only rockets can do this because you must first get up to at least 70 knots to begin to stabilize the effect.
Wednesday again! So it’s just a week later than planned this time.
Well, I did not write an entry last week because I was so very busy. This was for two very good reasons though. The first one is one of the best parts about working at Lockheed: ‘Flex Time.’ This means that I have to do my 40 hours of work each week, but I can decide when I want to do them. I worked for 11 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday and 10 more on Thursday along with the eight vacation hours from Memorial Day on Monday to complete my work time and take off Friday.
Now I didn’t take off Friday just to go to the beach. I actually went down to Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday night for the American Geophysical Union Spring Conference. The professor I work for, her advisor, and I went to the conference to observe and present (I just observed) several posters and talks on current research in the field of Space Physics; more specifically the Earth’s magnetosphere, which is what I am studying.
The best part about this was that Embry-Riddle’s Physical Sciences department sponsored me and covered the convention attendance and hotel costs. Having opportunities like this and still being an undergraduate student has pretty much convinced me that I have chosen the best major possible.
I was also able to meet researchers in the field from London, Germany, Finland, Alaska, and Japan. The only hard part was having to derail my brain from all the engineering I had been doing and get back into the physics. It was definitely fun though.
In other news, work has been going well. I have been setting up a lot of programs and models to simulate vehicle controls from some computational fluid dynamics data. There was also a ‘lunch and learn’ today where anyone from the site who wants to can go to a class during their lunch break. Today’s class was all about how to appropriately use scale models and relate small models to different fluid viscosities and pressure.
I also got home later than usual today because we had an intern dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. There are several more interns now from other colleges and even a few from a local high school starting on Monday. At dinner there were ten of us, including the Human Resources contact, Paula. This was an ‘official’ internship event which meant the bill was covered and everyone got cheesecake!
The bed is calling me and I must prepare for the rest of my week and hopefully some scuba diving this weekend.
I would never have imagined that only working for 40 hours a week could feel so busy or leave me out of breath like spending 80 hours a week at school. I am just so excited about the whirlwind of new information and ideas that are part of what I am going to be doing here.
I spent most of my first couple of days in the office taking care of business, getting all my accounts and access needs set up as well as doing the online compliance training which covers things like appropriate workplace behavior and corporate procedures. A tidal wave of new information about the main project I was going to be working on came in getting me thoroughly inundated with some specific goals and tasks for the next week or so.
This project is call the RHOV, or ‘Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle.’ It is the new deep diving submersible, which will be replacing the current one for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution named Alvin. When completed, this vehicle will be the deepest diving vehicle able to reach over 99% of the oceans floors. Here is a link to an article about the contract: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=282&cid=36888&ct=162.
My specific role in the design process is that of a Control Systems Engineer. Right now I am doing a lot of the vehicle’s design evaluation to make sure everything will perform as intended. This work has introduced my to processes involving statics, dynamics, specific mathematical applications, and other engineering and physics ideas which will give me a great head start in some classes that I have not taken yet.
Some of my time is also spent working on other projects in small parts when I have time. One of the most important things I will be evaluated on is how much effort I put into seeking out work on my own and not sitting around waiting for someone to tell me what to do.
Outside of work has also been a blast. Going out on the town with my new roommate, one of the other interns I have already made several friends in the area. This is great because now someone I can call is always willing to go to the beach or check out the nightlife. Lockheed Martin also has several meet-and-greet lunches and training programs where all of us as new interns will get to meet many of our new coworkers. They also have a few dinners; local boat cruises, and some fun days planned.
Until next time! I have to run and write down some ideas I had for some of my tasks at work. Cannot get that math out of my head!
Well I’m just going to jump into what I myself have just jumped into. It is halfway through the first week of my internship with Lockheed Martin in West Palm Beach, Florida. Specifically I am working for their Maritime Systems and Sensors branch which has a website at http://lockheedmartin.com/ms2/.
I started at Embry-Riddle in the spring of 2007 as a Space Physics Major. This past semester I also added on Engineering Physics because I cannot decide between two majors I like so much. With a lot of help from some excellent teachers and awesome friends I have been doing very well. This has afforded me this wonderful internship opportunity for the company I intend to work for when I graduate.
I arrived in West Palm Beach last Thursday to check around town and find out what was going on. A relocation company was paying for up to seven days of a hotel stay with everything included so I had no worries about finding a place and getting settled. Two of the other interns starting at the same time were discussing with me about being roommates but made no solid plans yet. After a relaxing long weekend on the beach I began to prepare for my first day on Monday.
There were six interns starting for the summer that day and we all met in the security and visitors building outside the main building complex. The human resources representative, Paula met us and we were brought into the secured building complex. What followed was a long but very interesting morning which introduced us to many of the projects being worked on here as well as how things were run in general. We also got to meet several of the project and site managers, received our employee badges, and had a tour of the vehicle testing facilities.
As the morning ended, each of our individual managers we would be working directly under came into the conference room we were at to take us to lunch, and then to the actual building and floor we would be spending most of our time at.
For the rest of Monday and Tuesday I met my new co-workers, had my computer set up, and became introduced to the many projects I might be working on. I also found an awesome roommate with a house who is a project manager here at Lockheed as well. What better way to meet more people at the company I want to work for than that! Their house is also by the beach, which does not hurt at all.
Well I will post again next week with a lot more details about what exactly I am doing because hopefully I will know by then too!