You have a list of things you keep meaning to get to.  We all do.  You convince yourself things will quiet down next spring and you can get at them.  You don’t.  We all have them.  You convince yourself that only you can do them.  Sometimes that’s true, but a lot of times, probably not quite true.  Don’t let the perfect (when you do it) get in the way of the achievable.

There are many examples where Delaware local agencies have turned to interns to at least take a first crack at these wish list items.  Often, at least the early part of these initiatives don’t require the years of experience and judgement that you bring to the table and interns can take that load off of you so you can do the last 20 percent.

Is your Americans with Disabilities Act self-assessment up to date?  An engineering intern can efficiently walk the streets and update that database.  We can help you find one and even train them how to do it.  All a free service to Delaware public agencies.

Not sure the overall condition of your pavement network or what techniques to use and when?  Again, we can train an engineering intern to assess pavement conditions consistently and develop a pavement management strategy to help you know when to mill/pave, crack seal, fog seal, slurry seal, or microsurface over then next five or ten year planning period.  All a free service to Delaware public agencies.

How’s your sign inventory?  When was the last time you measured retroreflectivity?  Engineering interns can help with that, too.

Some local agencies have been even more creative with their interns.  They see them as a fresh set of eyes on planning issues.  Where are bike paths most needed?  Is there a recurring citizen complaint that needs an unjaded eye?  Are snow plow routes as effective as they could be?  Do parks or playgrounds need an inspection?  Do you need an assessment of parking usage in the downtown area?

Are things like this on your list of things to get around to?  Is that list ragged on the edges and a bit coffee stained?  If so, you need a hand, and an engineering intern can step in with a little preparedness and training and then, maybe you can get closer to scratching that one off the list.

Obviously, being located in the heart of University of Delaware’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, we’re biased to UD and our engineering students, but you can find interns for some of your projects outside the engineering disciplines and at Delaware’s other institutions of higher learning.  We may be biased, but we believe there’s talent to be found wherever you find energetic, enthusiastic, focused students.  We can help you train them in most of these areas and get them off to a successful start.  All a free service to Delaware public agencies.

The bad news?  While our Engineering Circuit Rider can help you find interns, provide training for them, and provide technical oversight, all for free, you do have to pay interns.  But, their rate is usually small compared to the wage and benefits of your full time staff, and it’s for a limited time, so it can be an attractive alternative.

And, time is not your friend.  If you are looking for an intern for next summer, it’s time to get started.  The benefit of engineering interns has caught on in a big way in Delaware and many students already know where they will intern next summer.  Engineering consultants are particularly aggressive and have learned to get out ahead of the calendar.  State agencies like DelDOT and DNREC also have robust intern programs.  Some municipalities have developed standing programs and they too have learned to start early.

So, let’s get started.  Dig that coffee-stained list out from under the pile and pick a topic or two you would like to get started.  We can also help you sort through it a bit to see which are the best fit for interns.  We can reach out to the engineering student community at UD in an attempt to match you up with a couple of candidates, but again, sooner is better.  Contact our Engineering Circuit Rider, Matt Carter, at and he’ll help you craft your requirements and circulate them.  Another resource is UD’s Career Center, using their Handshake database that links employers with students for either internships or full-time employment after graduation.

Link to PDF