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Message from Melissa Jurist, Academic Program Manager

I would like to make you aware of our high school engineering internship program that operates during the summer months. The program, seven weeks in total, and either places highly qualified students into engineering labs or virtually with faculty, grad students and undergrads for a unique and personalized experience. The students work twenty hours per week with the lab team to learn about lab culture, the current engineering research being conducted and how to prepare for college through our weekly pedagogical sessions. Some of the internships come with a stipend, but most do not. This is not a reflection on the applicants, but rather a grant-funded versus not-funded scenario.

The program demands committed attendance, with no vacations of extended periods being taken during the internship. We cannot be flexible on this. Failure to comply with this may result in removal from the program.

Our projects will include research currently being done in a variety of engineering fields, including collaborations involving more than one discipline. So, we encourage students to write their cover letter (which is required in the online application) targeting a field, or fields, of engineering in which they are interested. Also required for application are a letter or recommendation from a STEM teacher and a transcript.

I ask that parent/caregivers and students be economical in their correspondence with me. That is, try to gather all questions into a single email, rather than sending me questions one-at-a-time. Timely correspondence is hindered by multiple emails.

The program is highly competitive, with an average acceptance rate of approximately 5%. We look for students who have skills and/or interests that articulate with the work being conducted in the lab. With all of this said, we would love to see you this summer and look forward to their applications.

Applications for the 7-week high school internship in the College of Engineering are now being accepted. Rising 11th and 12th graders may apply here to this 7-week in-lab internship. The internship will run from June 20th through August 8th. Applications are due on March 25, 2022.  No late applications will be accepted

Students applying to this program should provide a transcript from their guidance office, a teacher recommendation (link will be provided), and a short essay. This program is competitive, with limited spaces available and application is no guarantee of acceptance. In addition, and depending on COVID regulations, the internships may move to virtual or hybrid. We have many great labs participating, this year. We make every effort to place as many students as possible in their preferred labs but cannot guarantee such placement. Students are asked NOT to take more than 3 days of vacation during the internship, given its short term.


What does the engineering internship experience entail?

  • Students will take basic safety lab safety training prior to beginning their internship, as well as any additional training required for working in the specific lab of their mentor.
  • The internships generally run from the second to last week of June through the first week of August.
  • Students accepted into the program are expected to work 20+ hours a week, minimum (additional hours with faculty approval) for this internship, without vacation or co-occurring activities. The number of hours and schedule depend upon the mentor.
  • Each intern is required to meet with the Director of UD K-12 Engineering, when requested.
  • All internships will take place on the main campus at Newark, with very few exceptions. Students are expected to transport themselves. We do not offer parking reimbursements.
  • Each intern is expected to contribute to the lab, and attend & participate in lab meetings, if invited by their mentor to do so.
  • All mentors are required to produce a poster about the research in which they participated for our end-of-internship poster session. Details and a template will be supplied.
  • Melissa Jurist must be cc:ed on all correspondence with your mentor and co-workers in the lab.
  • Very few internships come with a stipend.

Here are some examples of projects on which past interns have worked: 

Nano-cavity enhanced photonic chemical sensor characterization
In this project, the student worked on characterizations of infrared glass thin films and nanophotonic sensor devices to detect trace amount of volatile organic compounds. The unique sensing mechanism enables single gas molecule detection, representing four orders of magnitude sensitivity improvement over current technologies. The student on this project learned basic laboratory skills, thin film deposition and characterizations, as well as microphotonic device processing and testing.
On-chip magneto-optical thin film and isolator device characterization
In this project, the student worked on characterizations of magneto-optical, oxide, thin films and integrated optical isolator devices to realize uni-directional light propagation on a chip. Previous results from this project have been published in Nature Photonics 5, 758-762 (2011).The student on this project learned basic laboratory skills, optical thin film, characterizations, as well as microphotonic device processing, and testing.
Visualizing the structures of soft tissues on microscope
This project entailed studying the anatomy of soft tissues that are typically present in the joints of our body, such as the knee. Under the supervision of a graduate student, the student learned to dissect tissues from animals and identify distinct anatomical features using a microscope. The student also used computer programs to quantitatively analyze these anatomical features from the microscopic images.
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