Students Find Internships Rewarding

Most UConn engineering students engage in internships during their undergraduate years that enrich their education and provide unparalleled opportunities for real-world experience. We recently invited students to discuss their internships:

 Nicholas Chokas (Computer Science & Engineering; Minor in Mathematics) of Manchester, CT, chose UConn Engineering “because I love technology, and with UConn being ranked the top public school in New England, I knew that I’d have the resources and knowledge-base to become a respectable engineer.”

Internship – “This is the second year I have interned at Google in the New York City headquarters. My duties include:

  • Providing direct support for Linux, Mac and Microsoft desktops/laptops, and user access to corporate network and applications, both on the network, as well as through remote VPN access.
  • Providing direct support and administration for Google’s corporate resources and applications.
  • Providing direct support for Google’s office relocations and expansions.
  • Web development for internal applications Python, PHP, and SQL.

“Working at Google has been the best experience of my life and I’m glad I chose UConn engineering to help get me here!”

 Michael Zuba (Computer Science & Engineering), coming to UConn from New Milford, CT, said, “I’ve always had a passion for trying to make a difference in the world. UConn Engineering is known for giving students the opportunity to do this…it also offers a chance to work with intelligent individuals and professors in a very nurturing environment. These valuable interactions and the promise of a great future were my main deciding factors in choosing UConn Engineering.”

Internship – “I am interning in the nuclear power industry at Westinghouse Electric Company, Windsor, CT. My duties include researching various options to help improve hardware, creating wiring diagrams for new hardware being designed, simplifying logic in hardware to improve performance, and helping design and implement a new software system. I feel that my engineering education has prepared me well for real-world demands.”

 Daniel Zachs (Biomedical Engineering), who hails from Simsbury, CT, chose UConn “because it has a rigorous and extensive BME program and I wanted to apply my creativity to the medical sciences.” He will earn his B.S. in December ’08 and his M.S. in May ’09.

Internship – “It is a research fellowship funded by the NIH and facilitated by the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM) in the UConn Health Center. I am performing research for Dr. Vladimir Rodionov, who studies the microtubules in cells. In my work, I use PCR techniques to amplify desired DNA genes that have been selected to express fluorescent chromophores in target Xenopus (frog) cells. Then I use high powered lasers to excite the cells under a microscope. By analyzing the excitation levels of the cells at different wavelengths we can determine how different hormones influence chemical events, including cargo transport along the microtubules.”

“UConn’s Biomedical Engineering program builds such a wide foundation of skills and knowledge that I feel confident in almost any scientific setting. Microbiology and physiology courses have provided a background in the biology that is helpful for the lab work, and my engineering skills help with the microscopy and modeling of cellular events.”

 Ricardo Lewis (Chemical Engineering; Minor in Molecular & Cell Biology), who grew up in Brooklyn, NY, said “For me, engineering has given me many opportunities to choose from. As an undergraduate student I have been able to apply my knowledge effectively in my research at UConn and my internship at Pfizer. Because of engineering I am always a step further in all of my endeavors.”

Internship – Ricardo is interning at Pfizer as a Developmental Operations Intern. His duties include quality control and clinical tests approvals for the FDA.

 Rodney Howard (Management & Engineering for Manufacturing), of Lakeville, MA, is an Applications Engineer intern at Dymax Corporation (a manufacturer of UV light curing adhesives) Torrington, CT. His duties “usually consist of conducting in-house studies on the adhesives’ properties for updating product data sheets. Other times I assist the other Application Engineers in the customer projects such as masking for Apple products or testing adhesion on solar panels for Infinia.”

“I definitely feel that my education at has prepared me well for the demands required in the industrial setting. Here at Dymax it is necessary to understand both tensile and shear stresses, along with strain and elongation properties when evaluating the properties of the adhesives that are being manufactured. The manufacturing courses have been very important to my understanding of the processes each company uses to manufacture a product.”

 Travis Ward (Biomedical Engineering (BME); Minor in Mathematics) of Derry, NH, chose UConn because “Not only did UConn’s extracurricular activities, size, and atmosphere feel very comfortable to me, I also was intrigued by all the various labs and opportunities that the engineering program offered.”

Internship – “As an intern at Biogen Idec, Cambridge, MA, I have been trained to use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), specifically for size exclusion chromatography (SEC), to test protein drug products and drug samples for purity and protein quality. I also use their spectrophotometers for testing the protein concentration samples of drug products, drug samples, reference standards, and aliquots of Bovine Serum Albumin as controls I have also implemented a new technique to test protein samples on a new spectrophotometer, and I’ve been working to produce protein concentration acceptance criteria for the spectrophotometer, testing current buffers used in SEC HPLC to extend their expiration period, and working to develop a standard buffer that can be used for several different proteins during SEC HPLC.”

Jed Miller (Mechanical Engineering), hailing from Waterford, CT, chose UConn Engineering “because several friends who got their degree here highly recommended it. I also chose UConn because of the awesome benefits package that the State of Connecticut gives to veterans.”

Internship – “I interned at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (West Bethesda, MD), where I created a scale model of an amphibious vessel that is capable of carrying a 20′ ISO container from a seabase to an on-shore location. The full scale design is called DUKW 21. My group’s model is made from half inch PVC pipe and utilizes 12 volt motors for both land and water propulsion. We were able to build and test our model in a 140′ test basin at Carderock, which is capable of generating waves and allowed us to test the vessel in the surf zone with waves. My team’s tests determined that the DUKW 21 concept does not have any fatal flaws and that further study of the concept is warranted.”

“Despite not being a Naval Architect or Ocean Engineering major, because of my UConn education I was able to catch on to the topics involved with ship design.”