Summer Exchange 2022 Internship Information

Summer Exchange 2022 Internship Information

Covid-19 note: We are preparing for summer 2022 internships with the intent that activities will largely occur on campus unless explicitly stated to the contrary in the project description — but that in some circumstances, virtual components may also be incorporated.

MDSGC’s 2022 Summer Exchange program invites qualified students to apply for hands-on summer internships at any of the participating universities other than their home institution. The program will exchange successful applicants among participating universities for a 10-week paid engineering internship experience. Interested students should contact the faculty coordinator (see below) at their home institution for more information.

The link to the application is at the bottom of this page. Please read this page carefully before applying!

For full consideration, applications must be received by Friday, March 11 Sunday, March 13, 2022. After that offers will be made on a rolling basis until all positions are filled or mid-May, whichever is first.


Applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens.
  • Rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors majoring in engineering, computer science, or another STEM area relevant to the project topics. Note: some projects have prerequisites that may require particular experience.
  • Currently enrolled at one of the following institutions: Capitol Technology University (CTU), Hagerstown Community College (HCC), Morgan State University (MSU), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), or University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).
  • Interested in working at one of the participating universities other than their home institution. Example: CTU students should not apply for an internship offered at CTU through this program.
  • Available to commit for at least 10 weeks during the summer of 2022.


On the application, students will be asked to rank their top three project choices, specified by “Project ID”, listed in the table below.

Project IDTitle, Mentor, Project Description, and Status
CTU-1Title: Asteroid Large aperture PHotometry exoplAnet transit (ALPHA) Observatory Commissioning Project

Location: Capitol Technology University (CTU)


Faculty Mentor: Professor Marcel Mabson

Project Description: The ALPHA observatory will be located on Capitol Technology University campus. The observatory will use an 11-inch Celestron telescope to search for Near Earth Objects (NEO’s) such as comets and asteroids and conduct variable star model verification of known Cepheids and eclipsing binary systems. The observatory will also contribute to photometry measurements of newly discovered Type 1a and 2a supernova events and hot Jupiter exoplanet transits.

The intern will perform the following tasks during ALPHA Observatory Commissioning:
o Assemble NextDome Observatory structure and install Telescope mount and OTA
o Install and configure telescope control software
o Perform Telescope and Dome calibration and align telescope mount to polar axis
o Obtain Minor Planet Center observatory code
o Conduct first light observation activities
o Generate and execute observation plans
o Develop ALPHA Standard Operation Procedures (SOP)
o Process NEO target observations
o Characterize observatory performance (i.e mount tracking, CCD image temperature, etc)
o Develop FreeFlyer Mission Plan to generate future orbital positions of observed objects.

The intern will perform ALPHA commissioning activities from the ALPHA control center located in the Space Flight Operations Training Center (SFOTC) on Capitol technology University campus. Due to the nature of operations, the observatory will be operated in the evening hours. Remote access will be made available to the intern to perform observations from home. Training in observatory software packages will be provided. Some lifting will be required by the intern, and faculty will also provide support. During the internship, the intern will be required to work evenings during clear skies.

Prerequisite: Interested students should have an interest in astronomy and have successfully competed at least 1 astronomy course/elective. The ALPHA commissioning project is open to all academic student levels (freshmen, junior, etc).

This project aims to recruit one intern.
MSU-1Title: Critical Design Analysis, System Components Integration, and Flight Prediction of Morgan State’s Liquid Propellant Rocket


Location: Morgan State University (MSU)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Guangming Chen
Additional Research Mentor: Marc Caballes

Project Description: Morgan State’s ARROW Rocketry Team is developing a single-stage liquid-propellant rocket (LPR) with a targeted apogee of 50,000 feet. Due to the design complexity, the significant components of the rocket, consisting of (1) nosecone with integrated GPS, (2) three airframe tanks – helium, propellant, and oxygen, and (3) boat-tail with fins housing and propulsion engine, must be studied and researched thoroughly. The design will then be carefully analyzed using RockSim V10 Rocket Simulator to predict the rocket’s stability during flight, apogee reached, and the optimal delay time for triggering the recovery system.

The intern will learn additive manufacturing (3D Printing) skills to model, build, and fabricate the nose cone, airframe, tanks, piping connections, and valves integration. Thus, the intern needs to have a background or in-depth understanding in using 2D and 3D modeling software such as but not limited to: (1) SolidWorks, (2) AutoCAD, (3) Autodesk Inventor, and/or (4) PTC Creo. The intern will be exposed to and practice Integration and Testing (I&T) operation procedures and launch a solid-propellant rocket (SPR) if time allows. In addition, the intern will also be tasked to formulate mathematical models of temperature distribution for the cumulative load paths and tank design of the LPR using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Last year, both Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR) phases were completed. The intern will participate in the next phase – Test and Flight Readiness Design Review, which is expected to be finished in December of this year. The summer intern will participate in further analysis and necessary modification of the airframe design and the improvement of coupler design in the fabrication of the airframe (with possible assistance from Army Research Lab) and integration and testing of the airframe for launch readiness.

This rocketry project may be conducted in a hybrid model, where the design and analysis are conducted virtually. However, the integration and testing of components will be done on campus under the supervision of the faculty and research mentor.

Required Skills and Availability:
The intern is expected to have a background understanding in 2D/3D modeling and have some experience in using 3D software, such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Inventor, PTC Creo, Fusion 360, etc. The intern must have a working laptop that is capable of running some medium to heavy programs. Since MSU campus and student housing status in summer 2022 is not clear at this time, the ability to drive to MSU campus several times, though not every day in the summer, is preferred, if the student housing in summer 2022 is unavailable.

This project aims to recruit one intern.
MSU-2Title: Avionics Design and Integration into MSU Liquid Propellant Rocket


Location: Morgan State University (MSU)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Seong Lee
Additional Research Mentor: Samuel Alamu

Project Description: Furthering the pursuit of the quest to design and launch a liquid rocket under a grant awarded by Base 11, the Morgan State University (MSU) Rocketry Program is currently designing a liquid-propellant rocket (LPR) which is aimed at attaining an apogee of 50,000 feet with a single-stage rocket. This summer intern project seeks to design and integrate three main subsystems: Rocket’s telemetry, recovery deployment, and data acquisition (DAQ) into the ongoing liquid propellant rocket (LPR) design. While working with the avionics subtask team, the intern student may perform the following tasks, but not limited to: (1) designing of the three subsystems – DAQ, telemetry, and recovery – via Raspberry pi flight computer programming incorporating multiple sensors, (2) assembling and integrating the components and flight computer into the payload system with proper cable management, and (3) testing all the components and analyzing obtained data.

The intern's training would be arranged in a hybrid format including in-person lab activities and online activities. Raspberry pi programming can be conducted in the intern’s residence and discussed virtually in the weekly meeting. Components integration, testing and evaluating all components could be conducted as scheduled in Morgan Rocket Laboratory under faculty and research mentor’s direction.

Required skills and availability for the intern: Skills related to Raspberry pi programming, data analysis, and hands-on experience on the flight components assembly, modeling (e.g., SolidWorks, CAD software), and basic knowledge of instrumentation of DAQ components including MC DAQ HAT, temperature sensors and pressure transducers, voltage and current distributions etc, are desired. Since MSU campus and student housing status in summer 2022 is not clear at this time, the ability to drive to MSU campus several times, though not every day in the summer, is expected.

This project aims to recruit one intern.
MSU-3Title: Analysis and Projection of Sea Level Rise along Coast of the Gulf of Mexico or the Chesapeake Bay


Location: Morgan State University (MSU)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yi Liu
Additional Research Mentor: Dr. Xin Zhou

Project Description: Global warming causes worldwide sea level rise due to a combination of melting water from glaciers and ice sheets and expansion of ocean water. As a result, flood risk and ecosystem change are elevated. The sustainability and resiliency of the nation’s coastal communities to evolving needs of the environment in response to past and future sea level rise necessitates identification of it from long-term tide gauge records along the nation’s coasts. Our group has created a novel piece-wise equation of relative sea level rise comprising absolute sea level rise and four sub-components of land subsidence to help scientists and engineers to identify and project relative sea level rise value for resilience design of coastal communities against sea level rise as well as other natural hazards.

The summer intern will participate in analysis of the sea level rise situation either in Gulf of Mexico or the Chesapeake Bay (two of the globe’s hot spots, where the sea level rise is about two to four times greater than global mean sea level rise). The main tasks include efficient large volume of online data collection and processing with certain programming tools. Data are about GPS stations, tide gauge stations, borehole extensometer stations, and ground water wells. Time series daily or annual solutions of the data crossing decades or a century are wanted to calculate the sea level rise rate and to explore the geological reasons of the speeding rise rate in the 21st century.

Required skills and availability for the intern: interest in sea level rise issue; literature review skill; basic knowledge about coding, such as Python or R language will be helpful to download and process data. The team has a weekly group meeting for the intern to attend. This summer intern project will be conducted on campus (though “work from home” will be an option if the pandemic situation is still serious) to enhance communication efficiency and to ensure the tasks proceed on schedule. Since MSU campus and student housing status in summer 2022 is not clear at this time, the ability to drive to MSU campus several times, though not every day in the summer, is expected.

This project aims to recruit one intern.
UMBC-1Title: Structures and Supports for the Centrifugal Mirror Fusion Experiment


Location: University of Maryland Baltimore County / University of Maryland College Park

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Carlos Romero-Talamas

Project Description: The Centrifugal Mirror Fusion Experiment (CMFX) is a magnetized plasma experiment to investigate and demonstrate high-temperature plasma confinement with the ultimate goal of enabling the commercial availability of compact thermonuclear fusion reactors. The CMFX uses superconducting magnets to provide steady and precise magnetic fields in a large volume, and it is the first rotating plasma mirror to include such technology. The program is funded by the Department of Energy's ARPA-E program, and is currently under construction at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The summer intern will help with the design and construction of structural elements for diagnostics and other experimental hardware. Working alongside graduate students, researchers, engineers, and technicians, the student will be involved in all aspects of diagnostics interfacing with the experimental chamber, with the specific considerations of high magnetic fields, ultra-high vacuum conditions, and high voltages that could affect measurements.

Desired student skills: SolidWorks, Matlab, and ANSYS finite-element software, among others, preferred but not required. Summer interns will be required to keep laboratory notes throughout their internship, and produce a final report that will become part of the technical library. Students working near high magnetic fields of 3 teslas or more, as well as accessing the electrical energy storage area, will undergo special safety training. Background in digital electronics will also be welcome but not required for successful applicants.

Special note: Applicants should disclose any medical condition or device (e.g. pacemaker) that may limit their access to high magnetic fields. We welcome all qualified applicants and will make every reasonable effort to accommodate those with particular conditions or disabilities.

This project aims to recruit one or two interns.
UMCP-1Title: Motion Planning with Turtlebot3 Robots


Location: University of Maryland College Park (UMCP)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Otte

Project Description: The intern will work with the turtlebot3 robot platform and help with research related to robotic path planning for the purposes of making art. The project will involve programming in C++ and/or Python. The intern will have workspace in the Motion and Teaming Lab in Aerospace Engineering at UMD, and work will need to be done on site.

The intern is expected to be motivated and comfortable working independently. Previous experience with a procedural coding language is a prerequisite (e.g., Python, Java, C++, Matlab, are all ok as are others). Prior programming experience specifically in C++ or Python is desirable, but not required.

This project aims to recruit one or two interns.
UMCP-2Title: Design and Testing of a Lunar Rover


Location: University of Maryland College Park (UMCP)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dave Akin

Project Description: As part of the Big Ideas competition, the Space Systems Lab will be building and testing a novel rolling, walking, jumping rover for lunar exploration. The intern will be part of the team working on building and testing new mobility concepts this summer.

The intern should ideally have some experience with, or at least interest in, mechatronics, robotic hardware, and/or programming. Prior knowledge of C++ is desirable, and any familiarity with the Robot Operating System (ROS) would be fantastic. Enthusiasm and creativity, along with a strong willingness to work hard are more significant than the experience level of the applicant. Research will be conducted at the Space Systems Lab on UMD campus and in-person participation will be necessary throughout the summer (if conditions permit).

This project aims to recruit one intern.
UMES-1Title: Soft Robotics and other Embedded Systems Design and Applications with Arduino and Raspberry Pi


Location: University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

Faculty Mentors: Dr. A. Nagchaudhuri and I. Mamoun

Project Description: Mechatronic and robotic systems design and development efforts have been ongoing at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Robotics Laboratory for the past several years in the areas of automation applications in earth system science and smart agriculture as well as agile manufacturing. Synergistic integration of educational and experiential learning projects in the growing field of soft robotics has also been explored by students in recent years. Students have not only worked with the laboratory manager and the PI to integrate an advanced soft robotic gripper system with a six degree of freedom industrial robotic arm but have also used 3-D printed molds to cure elastomers (elastic polymers with low modulus of elasticity and high failure strain) to form various shapes including soft fingers that can close and open using pneumatic controls.

The summer intern will get an opportunity to work with other UMES undergraduates, a graduate student, the UMES laboratory manager, and the PI to develop demonstration applications with the newly installed commercial soft gripper system and pneumatic controller mounted on the industrial robotic arm; as well as design and develop a small-scale soft gripper system using a pneumatic controller activated using an Arduino Nano. The intern will also get an opportunity to work with other embedded systems platforms integrated with Arduino UNO, Raspberry Pi, and Raspberry Pi Pico, Pixhawk boards and enhance programming skills using C++, Sketch, Bloxter, Python, micro-Python, and MATLAB.

If logistics permit the intern will also be exposed to a variety of other ongoing efforts at UMES in the areas of unmanned autonomous systems on land, air, and water largely pertaining to agricultural automation and environmental stewardship as well as other robotic devices, solid modeling, and 3D printing capabilities available in the Robotics, Automation, and Manufacturing (RAM) laboratory at University of Maryland Eastern Shore(UMES).

UMES faculty will also facilitate the oral and written communication skill development and the poster and/or Powerpoint presentation development that will be presented at the symposium towards the end of the 10-week internship. The scope of the summer exchange internship project will be appropriately modified and adapted to the experience, skills, and interests of the student selected.

Desired Qualification and Skills: Sophomore or Junior in engineering or computer science program. Familiarity with CAD and 3-D printing, basics of sensors and electronics, and programming skills in C++, Python, and MATLAB. Ability to work in teams in field and laboratory settings.

This project aims to recruit one intern.
UMES-2Title: Impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the air quality for selected populated cities across the globe


Location: University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) / online

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Madhumi Mitra

Project Description: Air pollution is a global public health concern and has led to millions of premature deaths worldwide. In overpopulated cities, particulate matter such PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) in the troposphere have deleterious effects on human health leading to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Some of the key factors such as restrictive measures (closing of schools, colleges, and universities and non-essential businesses, limitations of motorized transports) and easing of the restrictions have played pivotal roles on the air quality. On the other hand, there are also negative aspects such as the reduction in recycling and the increase in waste through disposable personal protective equipment (PPE), which resulted in the contamination of physical spaces (water and land), in addition to air. The air quality data will be analyzed from historical and real-time data retrieved from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Now database for the selected urban regions, as well as from the Air Quality Open Data Platform ( The data from NASA’s "Global Nitrogen Dioxide Monitoring Home Page" will be analyzed in this study to understand the pandemic’s impacts on NO2 levels, as well as how NO2 levels have changed since the beginning of 2020.

The student intern will learn how to analyze the real-time and historical air quality data from the various databases; gain content knowledge in atmospheric chemistry and physics of particulate matter; and hone statistical data analytical skills, and presentation and writing skills.

Qualifications: Experience with Microsoft Office especially Excel; Strong quantitative skills; College-level statics/data analysis; and completion of at least two semesters of Chemistry. A working knowledge of MATLAB is also desired, and knowledge of statistical packages such as SAS, SPSS would be helpful.

This project aims to recruit one intern. This project may be conducted in remote-work mode.
UMES-3Title: Gecko Inspired Nano-Structured Dry Adhesive Materials


Location: University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kausiksankar Das

Project Description: When a gecko places its foot on a wall and curls its toes, nanoscale structures on hair-like setae on its toepads interact with the wall on the atomic level, allowing the gecko to grip the wall via Van der Waals forces. In this project, we will synthesize novel polymer composites using soft elastomers, such as polyurethane or polydimethylsiloxane, to create and optimize nano-structured substrates, and measure their forces of adhesion on various surfaces. We will use standard nano-structuring techniques such as injection molding, micro/nano stamping and/or photolithography to create desired micro structures on our polymer substrate. Once the molded skins are created, microstructures on them will be characterized using electron microscopes like SEM and AFM. They will undergo shear and peel stress testing by sticking the artificial skin tapes on a vertical smooth surface and hanging different weights on them. A non-toxic, glue/chemical free non-invasive dry adhesive skin will be highly useful in a spaceflight context by allowing objects to stick to the walls or be towed using these skins without generating any potentially problematic toxicity or electromagnetic interference.

Student learning goals: To engage students in cutting edge research in bio-mimicry. To understand how nature uses smart designs to solve intricate challenges, such as adhesion between two surfaces. To synthesize polymer composites using soft elastomers, such as polyurethane or polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for artificial gecko skin. To develop a micro/nano-structured polymer composite skin, where the surface of the skin will mimic gecko feet topography, so that this skin can be applied on any object to make it easy to stick to even a smooth surface without the need of glue, suction or electro-magnetic attractive forces.

This project aims to recruit one intern.
USNA-1Title: Space Science STEM Internship


Location: United States Naval Academy (USNA)

Faculty Mentor: Joseph McGettigan

Description: The interns will work together to produce a number of STEM-related activities focusing on emerging topics related to space science and technology, including but not limited to Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT), as well as cyber forensics, rotational motion, gyroscopic motion, instrumentation, experimentation and structural design. The interns will develop activities for a comprehensive hands-on module, as well as short-duration K-16 activities related to science in space for less-structured events such as Space Fairs and festivals. The summer interns will help support USNA STEM Camp (June) and SET Sail Weeks I and II (July).

Two undergraduate interns will be selected from colleges and universities within a commutable distance of the US Naval Academy. The ideal candidate will be a rising sophomore or junior majoring in a STEM discipline. USNA mentors will work closely with the interns to develop the necessary technical, computational and software skills needed to attain a successful completion to this internship program.

USNA expects to be able to host the interns in-person and on-site, but must abide by current USNA, DON, DoD and local guidelines regarding vaccines, masks and social distancing. The USNA STEM Center is prepared to support the internship in an in-person, virtual or hybrid mode, depending on the circumstances of the interns.

This project aims to recruit two interns.

How to Apply

For full consideration, applications should be received by March 13, 2022. After that offers will be made on a rolling basis until all positions are filled or mid-May, whichever is first.

(I) Interested students must obtain the endorsement of the faculty coordinator at their home institution or one of the internship mentors. Coordinators will help guide students toward appropriate projects and will provide the password needed to submit an application via the link below.  Contact your home institution’s coordinator to request their endorsement (and application password) and get their advice:

Capitol Technology University — Prof. Marcel Mabson

Hagerstown Community College — Prof. Ed Sigler

Morgan State University — Prof. Guangming Chen

University of Maryland, Baltimore County — Prof. Carlos Romero-Talamás

University of Maryland, College Park — Prof. Mary Bowden

University of Maryland, Eastern Shore — Prof. Abhijit Nagchaudhuri

(II) Completing the application requires (1) current student information including contact information and GPA; (2) a PDF resume or CV; (3) a PDF “statement of interest” (one page or less) that should explain your goals for the internship and your overall career; (4) contact information for one person who can provide a letter of recommendation; (5) your top three choices among the projects listed on this page.

(III) Here is the link to the password-protected application page. Contact your home institution’s coordinator to request their endorsement and the password.

Stipend and Housing

MDSGC will provide a 10-week stipend of $7300 and may be able to assist interns in arranging housing if needed. Interns will be responsible for paying housing and transportation costs out of their stipend.

For general questions, please contact MDSGC.