Summer Internship Program Experiences – 2017

Experiences from Summer of 2017.


2017 Intern Summary Comments


Eli Smith, Canyon Crest HS

Interning at the engineering department of SIDUS Solutions has been a great experience. Though Sheldon Rubin is my official mentor, I have been working mostly with Rohan Deota, a mechanical engineer. The tasks I have been assigned mainly involve using applications like Solidworks, Autodesk, and Microsoft Visio. For the first two weeks, I primarily worked on ECRs (Engineering Change Requests), requests by assembly workers for changes/clarification in the engineering drawings used for the fabrication of parts. And then I would outline what changes were made in an ECO (Engineering Change Order) and enter this information into a spreadsheet.

More recently, I have been editing wiring schematics according to the “red-lines” (corrections) of other engineers and customers. In addition, I have begun creating 3-D computer renderings of simple parts (like brackets and small cameras) from physical models and then making engineering drawings for them (mostly with Solidworks). This work has been fulfilling, and it puts to use skills that I was introduced to at school and on my robotics team.

The employees here have been a pleasure to work with. I am sure that this real-world hands-on experience will prove to be invaluable for the years to come.

Anderson Lam, Helix HS

My internship with SonTek has been incredibly insightful. Everything is going as planned and smoothly and everyone is friendly. I have been learning a lot of different types of skills needed to be a manufacturer, electrical, and applications engineer so far. Although I got headaches the first couple days, I was able to quickly grasp on what I needed to know. My first two weeks at SonTek, I worked in the manufacturing engineering department and I learned how to use LabView, run tests on their products, and also how to create procedures. It was amazing to work closely with a mentor and to see my programs in action. For the third week at SonTek, I was placed in the applications department and started to learn Matlab and will go out in the field to do some testing. The field testings generally consist of going into the lake, checking if the products work, and then doing further tests on bigger products. There are many aspects in applications engineering and I wish I had more time to explore them all. This internship has definitely secured my decision to be an engineer and has also opened up so many different careers to choose from. Next week, I will be in the research and development department and am excited for what I will see there.


Carly Hanson, Canyon Crest HS

(1) Everything is smoothly and I have learned a lot. My mentors, Erin and Sean, are very helpful and have taught me lots of new information about the Scripps Whale Acoustics Lab. When ever I have questions, which is a lot, they not only answer the question but give me additional information to help solidify my understanding of the work we are doing.


(2) I have been creating long spectograms which are visual frequency graphs. By collecting information from Antarctica, Canadian Arctic, Pacific Ocean, Southern California, etc., I have created dozens of compiled graphs that show what is happening in those areas. The activity in these regions include air guns, seal bombs, whale calls, and strumming sounds caused by the HARP or High Frequency Recording Packages. The graphs that I have created display what kinds of whales are in which areas, depending on the frequency of their call, and when they pass through the area. I am now including all of the data I have collected into a paper. The paper also includes labeled maps of the sites that the HARPs have been deployed. By creating these maps and LSGs, I have learned to use MATLAB, Adobe Illustrator and many other computer programs.

Alex Levine, La Jolla HS

  1. My experience here has been very interesting. I am enjoying learning about different tools for data analysis and implementing them into code. Along the way, I encountered some unexpected technical difficulties, which may have seemed very frustrating at times, but I worked to resolve them and found it an invaluable learning lesson. In the real world, not everything goes smoothly and sometimes you just have to persevere. What I like about this internship is that it is not staged with a curriculum like many summer camps and I feel more like a real scientist/engineer than a student at a camp.

Dr. Cutter has been on vacation for the past week and Scott Mau has been temporary supervisor. Mr. Mau does not specialize in programming, but he provided me help with the chemistry component of my project. When Dr. Cutter returns on Monday, I’m hoping that I can begin my next project. Working under him, though, has been very pleasant. He introduced me to many new computer science tools to help me with my project and I am very happy with that. He also helped me establish the idea and create a clear forward direction. This is an experience I could never gain in a classroom and it is not halfway over. I plan to volunteer here indefinitely because I enjoy contributing to real research and want to gain experience in the fields I plan to study.

  1. When I arrived on the first day, Dr. Cutter showed me an interesting machine learning project which involved tracking one’s pulse through imaging. Next week, presumably, I will study machine learning algorithms more in depth and code projects relating to those. When I first met Dr. Cutter, one of the things he said I’ll be working on is an algorithm that removes glare from images. When I arrived on my first day of the internship, we realized that was a fairly easy project and that it would be best to start with a relevant idea of mine that would take a little longer. I suggested a mobile app that tracks pollution based on the substantial data that has already been collected and gives warnings to the user about pollution in their area and advice on how to reduce it. I learned that tracking ‘pollution’ would be almost impossible because of how broad it is. Rather, it would be better for me to focus on specific pollutants. I determined that ocean acidification is a very big problem in the world and decided to focus on that. I was able to find a database online from the NOAA called SOCAT which gives CO2 levels and surrounding conditions from all over the world since 1957. I realized that tracking the origin of the CO2 would be very difficult due to the dynamic behavior of the winds and currents, and therefore, it would be difficult to make recommendations based on location. Instead, my app will display the changes in CO2 levels on the map since 1957 and give warnings to users in impacted areas. It will also calculate the carbon footprint of a person or organization and find out how much of that ends up in the ocean. It will then give recommendations on how much one should reduce their utility usage; however, this is not based on a specific location. We are assuming that a portion of the CO2 one emits will end up somewhere in the ocean. I will also implement a feature to calculate the carbon footprints of boats. I am doing this in Android studio using Java and XML. The project is nearly done and I will transition to studies on machine learning algorithms very soon, which I am extremely excited about.

Ethan Shek, Scripps Ranch HS

I am having a great time working at Teledyne SeaBotix! The staff is very knowledgeable, and especially open to my thoughts and questions. This internship has been a wonderful opportunity for me to further explore my interests in engineering, and to experience work in professional environment.

For the past few weeks, I have been working with my supervisor, Jeremiah Cox, to troubleshoot the mechanical deficiencies of their newest Micrograb model. The Micrograb is a mechanism which is used by SeaBotix’s tethered and manually driven ROVs to transport and manipulate small objects. To do so, I have learned how to use a coordinate measuring machine to precisely evaluate its small parts, and to use Solidworks to model and simulate the movement of the device with the data that I collected. One thing which I enjoy is the freedom to design and run my own tests, and to explore the programs and software which are available for us to use. Under the supervision of Phillip Tran, I have had a chance to experiment with a number of evaluation techniques, such as pressure and GFI testing, to assess the limits and overall performance of various mechanical and electrical components that are used in the vehicles. I have also been lucky enough to accompany him throughout a number of field tests, during which we ran tests on both experimental and production submersibles, including driving the ROVs (which I had great fun doing), and collecting data on sonar performance in the open water.

Currently, I working with Cyril Poissonnet to use Solidworks to model, and eventually fabricate, a mounting system for a new Tritech Gemini sonar which SeaBotix looks to implement on their LBV systems in the future. Next week, I am additionally looking forward to representing Teledyne SeaBotix at the annual RoboSub competition, which is held at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command’s TRANSDEC testing facility.

Overall, I have had an insightful and enriching experience at Teledyne SeaBotix. I am certain that I can apply what I have learned here to my work in the future! I recommend that upcoming and prospective MTS interns take full advantage of this learning opportunity by working hard, and not being afraid to ask questions!

Rahul Nemmani, Mira Mesa HS

My internship is going extremely well. I was assigned a project create a stbin parser that can translate GPS messages into messages we can understand. This allows us to understand which message is important and which is not. I have been using C as a means to accomplish this task. I got my first paycheck, which was extremely exciting and my colleagues have taught me a lot about the project.  Thank you for giving me a wonderful opportunity in SeeScan. Thank You!

Rosalind Forgey, Valley Center HS

The Marine Tech Institute’s summer internship program is going great! I’m enjoying the data analysis process and using Photoshop to map out the corals. Everyone at Scripps has been extremely friendly and welcoming. It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to work in a lab in a professional capacity. This internship is closely related to what I want to do. I’m grateful for this chance to be able to gain real world experience and connections and work in a lab where I am part of the research effort.  Thanks!

Oliver Wang, Canyon Crest HS

  1. So far it’s been great. I’ve had a lot of fun working at See Scan the last few weeks and have really learned more than I ever thought I would have.
  2. I have learned to create 3D CAD models with Solidworks. I’ve also learned about and operated both the fused deposition modeling 3D printer and resin 3D printer for creating model parts and to help visualize concepts and designs.   Recently, I have been working on two main projects. The first is a custom 3D printed phone mount on to a geolocator, which tracks underground RFID chips. Within this project, I have been designing the phone mount, testing it, and revising the 3D model. The second project is with inductive clamps, which induces a magnetic field into a pipe, allowing the entire length of the pipe to be tracked above ground. In this project, I have helped create fixtures to aid in the manufacturing process and helped built some of the inductive clamps themselves. Within this project I have also learned to use a electronics prototyping CNC to make circuit boards. Some smaller projects that I have also worked on include creating electromagnet coils, designing and 3D printing quality control (QC) fixtures, and manufacturing coils of polypropylene covered steel wire that boost the signal strength of RFID chips.

Molly Demer, San Diego HS

My internship with Teledyne RD Instruments over the last five weeks has been a great experience in which I have learned about what the workplace is like for software and firmware engineers and broadened my skill set. Everyone is eager to pass on information, especially the older interns.

I have been working on many different projects, ranging from checking whether or not firmware bugs have been properly fixed on numerous products to testing the performance of new Bluetooth technology to investigating the feasibility of using cloud computing to process enormous amounts of data in real time.

Gaurav Shah, Westview HS

Everything is going great, I really like the atmosphere of Teledyne RDI and I have fun working with the instruments. My job consists of testing out the instruments, both with the computer and in a water tank, as well as reporting any bugs in the software/firmware. I have worked with various devices and computer programs, and it is always a nice experience.

Aden Hibbs, La Jolla HS

The internship at Sidus Solutions has been interesting, and I am thrilled that I was extended the opportunity to experience it. I have created templates to laser-etch every camera Sidus has ever designed, designed a camera of my own, and cleared an eight-year backlog of ECRs (Engineering Change Requests).

Over the past week and a half, I was given a circuit board from a small camera and told to design a seaworthy housing for it. While the constraints of .125” wall thickness and a 113° diagonal field of view seemed at the time like a sea of limitless possibilities, it quickly became clear that it was closer to a series of limited values to be met before it could venture into the sea. With help from my friendly mentor Rohan, possibilities were narrowed down and a final design has apparently been settled on.

Along the way, I have learned and honed my skills at Solidworks, Autocad, and what working and having a job is really about.

Nick Vecchioni, St. Augustine HS

My past few weeks at SeeScan have been great. I have met so many great people and feel like I fit right in. Everyone is very friendly and helps me out whenever I need it. So far, I’ve been primarily working on an attenuator project. Recently, a customer had an issue with the SeeSnake camera not outputting the correct distance of camera cable taken out. To resolve this problem, SeeScan wanted to create a device that would allow for the developers to alter the voltage going out to the camera. To do this, we needed to build an attenuation device. After getting set up with the necessary hardware, I started coding (in C) to allow for the user to attenuate through UART. After some testing, it was clear that the proper voltage levels were being read on the oscilloscope. From here, I had to design a friendly user interface in which the user could change the attenuation with ease. Using Visual Studio and coding in C#, I designed and implemented the necessary functions that would allow for the user to simply input the attenuation they wanted. Along with this, the UI came with numerous other functions/buttons that allowed for different actions to occur. At this point, I’m working on transferring the UART code to USB since it is naturally compatible with the SeeSnake.



Opportunity runs deep….