June 25

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.

May 21

Happy Wednesday.

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!