Internship Spotlight: Draper Laboratory

Lara, a Tufts alumna, shared the following about her experience as an Engineering Summer Student with Draper Labs …

What did you do as an intern at this organization?
I worked on two projects. One conveyed how every technical subsystem got traced throughout a large system of systems through a Model-Based Engineering platform. With that, I modeled a virtual autonomous quadcopter that either completed or failed a mission based on user-input parameters.  I coded/tested in Simulink and MagicDraw software, and it was on display at the Draper Engineering Possibilities event that fall. My other project required hands-on work in the Microfabrication Laboratory. It explored mechanically and thermally stripping multi-coaxial wires on the microscale. Material learned from ME25 was pertinent.

How did you find this internship?
Draper Engineering Possibilities events

What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I loved working on two entirely different projects. I liked the fast pace. I also frequently ran into Tufts alumni; being a Jumbo had a lot of value there.

What did you find challenging?
Especially with my second project, there was a lot to learn. Also, everyone was so brilliant and talented. It was intimidating at first, but there were great resources for learning as much as possible.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
Once you start working for a company like Draper, the best way to impress your employer is to show them how well you learn — not how much you already know.


About the Organization
Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA

As a not-for-profit research and development company, Draper focuses on the design, development and deployment of advanced technological solutions for the world’s most challenging and important problems. We provide engineering services directly to government, industry, and academia; work on teams as prime contractor or subcontractor; and participate as a collaborator in consortia. We provide unbiased assessments of technology or systems designed or recommended by other organizations — custom designed, as well as commercial-off-the-shelf. Draper is a recognized world leader in both Positioning, Navigation & Timing and Microsystems, with additional expertise in Precision Instrumentation, Fault-Tolerant Systems, Secure & Assured Systems, Autonomous Systems, Image & Data Analytics, Human Systems Technology, Materials Engineering & Microfabrication, and Biomedical Solutions. With a strong commitment to deliver working solutions, we apply ourselves to a variety of domains from space to undersea—and many areas in between. We build working prototypes for field testing, accelerating design iterations; and we complete small production runs. We work with commercial partners to transition our technology to commercial large-volume production, including licensing intellectual property, and provide life-cycle support, including technology refresh.

By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services Robin Kahan