Students Snag High-Tech Company Experience
Engineering and Computer Science Interns Excel at Local Corporations
Feb. 10, 2011
More and more UT Dallas engineering and computer science students are getting real-world experience well before they cross the stage at graduation.
Through internships and team projects funded by local companies, students are also able to narrow their areas of professional interest and make an impression on what could be a future full-time employer.
Michael Galuardi, for instance, a computer engineering major, spent 15 months at Alcatel-Lucent working with a product-line management team that handled a core network for mobile devices. He helped enable features on the network that AT&T and other carriers wanted to offer to their customers.
And Lauren Bagen, an electrical engineering major, interned at MicroFab Technologies, where she was quickly established as a full member of the team.
“Within a week of starting at MicroFab, I decided that their technology would be best applied to sensor technology for medical electronics applications,” she said. “My boss told me to go ahead and get a presentation put together on the current technology that was out there, and a week later I presented that to [Texas Instrument’s] medical electronics division.”
During the most recent academic year, the internship program at the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science placed 438 students in more than 600 positions at nearly 225 companies, including Cisco Systems, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Samsung Telecommunications America, Siemens and Texas Instruments.
Students say the Jonsson School’s proximity to companies offering internships is one of its key draws. And university staff never fail to be impressed by what students – even those who are several semesters away from earning a degree – can do.
“We’ve got outstanding students who are doing real-world work out there, and I regularly hear high praise for them from their supervisors at the companies where they intern,” said Jerry Alexander, head of Industrial Practice Programs at the Jonsson School.
In addition, the school has started offering companies the ability to fund teams of students who work on a project of interest to the company through the students’ Senior Design class. This UTDesign program has also proved to be a great source of real-world exposure.
“My senior design project was a good experience for me because I got to work with Honeywell, the largest manufacturer of sensors,” said Evan Bone, an electrical engineering major.
His team was charged with improving a manufacturing process for pressure sensors.
“It was a good project because they already had a system in place, and we had to use out-of-the-box thinking to improve upon this system,” he said. “So we had to do some testing, work in cleanrooms with lasers, do some pretty fun stuff, and we basically proposed several different methods. We then told them which one we thought was the best, and they liked it.”