Looking to ramp up hiring of engineers and extend its reach into the country’s top engineering schools, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is launching an internship program with Texas A&M University (TAMU) that will bring promising engineering students to the Lab starting this summer.
If selected, up to two TAMU (undergraduate, junior or senior) students will work for a summer at LLNL on research projects. With their advisers, the students will establish an academic plan for earning a Ph.D. in engineering and return for a second internship. Depending on their performance, the university will consider funding an advanced degree.
During a recent visit to LLNL’s additive manufacturing labs and the Center for Micro and Nanotechnology, TAMU Executive Associate Dean of Engineering, N.K. Anand, said the program would give students a chance to work in advanced manufacturing while helping the school meet goals put forth by its “25 by 25” initiative, which seeks to increase the number of students pursuing advanced degrees in engineering to 25,000 by 2025.
“Here you have one of the top advanced manufacturing research facilities in the world,” Anand said. “This program gives us the opportunity to interface with the state-of-the-art work going on at the national labs, bring in ideas to enrich us and expose our faculty to cutting-edge research.”
Besides bolstering recruiting efforts on the TAMU campus, the program will help the Lab address the demand for engineers in the coming years. The Lab has so far in fiscal year 2017 hired close to 30 employees in Engineering and has identified more than 260 openings in the directorate that need to be filled.
“The Laboratory is interested in further developing our relationship with TAMU,” said Annie Kersting, LLNL’s director of University Relations and Science Education. “By having students come, it allows us to enhance our research collaborations and meet our workforce needs.”
TAMU is ranked among the top 10 public institutions for undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering in the country, enrolling more than 18,000 students in the program, according to the university.
One of Anand’s former students, Pratanu Roy, spent a summer internship at LLNL and returned as a postdoc after graduating from TAMU in 2014. Roy said the experience exposed him to computational techniques and technologies he wouldn’t have otherwise encountered and had a direct impact on his career path.
“When you’re a graduate student, you have to focus your research, and the value can be more academic than practical,” Roy said. “An internship program with the Lab, where a student could spend a summer here, find out what the Lab is working on and mingle their research with what the Lab is doing, has a very high value.”
The internship program has been extended to junior and senior undergraduates with interests in areas such as bioengineering, autonomous systems and advanced manufacturing who intend to continue their graduate education at TAMU. Selections will be made this spring.
For more information, see the TAMU fellowship program.