UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Team Internships

"We have received great feedback from the sponsoring organizations," says Anne O'Donnell, director of the Jacobs School's Corporate Affiliates Program. "The students took on lots of responsibilities and made real contributions to the companies, while developing vital teamwork skills."
The SPAWAR internship team developed a control system for a robotic platform.
Lockheed Martin Orincon interns worked on the Distributed Channel Services (DCS) project, aimed at allowing different applications to share data.
At NASSCO, students created preventive maintenance documentation for key shipbuilding equipment.

Bring together students from different engineering disciplines, give them a realworld project and defined goals, and then set them loose for ten weeks to achieve them-as a team.This Team Internship program was so successful this past summer for the Jacobs School, as well as the students and companies participating in it, that there are plans to double the number of student engineering teams next summer.

In Summer 2004, six multidisciplinary teams of two, three or four graduate or undergraduate students collaborated on projects at ABIOMED, Callaway Golf, Lockheed Martin Orincon, NASSCO, SPAWAR Systems Center-San Diego, and the Jacobs School's von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement.

Candidates were first screened by the school, based on specific projects and the skills each company needed. Companies also had to spell out defined goals in advance, and assign a staffer to mentor the team. At SPAWAR, John Neff oversaw a team of four students who developed a new control system for a robotic platform based on a network of nonlinear oscillators." They really worked very well together in getting the job done, and it was a hard, hard project," recalls Neff. "They did top-quality scientific work."

Mentors and students at the other internship sites echoed that upbeat assessment when Dean Frieder Seible visited the teams."I would definitely recommend this type of internship to other students, because it taught me how to work in a team," says Sarah Laiwalla, who spent the summer at Lockheed Martin Orincon."It also taught me how to break down tasks and distribute the work, not just taking it on myself."

Most of the host institutions in 2004 say they will stick with the program next summer, and other CAP member companies are discussing specific projects. "It is a measure of the success of this program," adds O'Donnell,"that when we go out to talk to prospective CAP members, the Team Internship program is seen as an important benefit and reason why the companies should become more closely involved with the school."

For more information, contact Glynda Davis at (858) 534-0228.