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NSWC Crane launched first summer internship program with the U.S. Naval Academy

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Aug. 14, 2019

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) launched its first summer internship program with the United States Naval Academy (USNA). Five USNA midshipmen were accepted to participate in internships supporting the fleet in Strategic Missions.

Senator Todd Young (R-IN) initiated the partnership between USNA and NSWC Crane.

“As a Naval Academy graduate, I am proud to see the collaborative relationship forming between NSWC Crane and the Academy,” says Sen. Young. “I was very impressed to see this move from concept to reality so quickly. Congratulations to the teams at Crane and the Naval Academy who made this happen. I hope this is the beginning of a regularly-occurring program.”

Three of the midshipmen, studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), completed their final projects and presented to NSWC Crane subject matter experts and leadership. The USNA midshipmen come from all over the United States, including Georgia, Alabama, and Massachusetts. They said their internship experience at NSWC Crane provided valuable insight for their naval careers.

Micheal Waldrop, a senior midshipman at USNA studying nuclear engineering, plans to attend Nuclear Power School upon graduation and join the submarine community.

“This was an opportunity to see an application of professional engineering and to see what goes on behind the scenes,” says Waldrop. “We were able to see how our fields of study are applicable. I worked with a great group of people at NSWC Crane; the staff was very intelligent and helpful. I learned skills and gained an appreciation for what the work being done for us and the warfighter.”

Emily Bellavance, a junior midshipman at USNA studying mechanical engineering, worked closely with the science and technology community in materials analysis.

“When I was looking at internships, I was interested in studying and learning more about materials and mechanical engineering,” says Bellavance. “During the internship, I was also able to gain exposure to the different equipment involved in process engineering.”

Will Vincent, a senior midshipman at USNA studying nuclear engineering, says they were able to visit other mission areas, laboratories, and facilities at Crane as well as build valuable relationships.

“During our time here, we didn’t just stay in our workspaces,” says Vincent. “We were able to check out electro-optics and small arms. I was able to gain a broad perspective of the types of things being done at Crane. This was also a networking opportunity; we didn’t all know each other before the internship and we were able to meet other USNA graduates at Crane as well as network with the workforce.”

Roger Callahan, a Functional Area Lead at NSWC Crane, helped lead the initiative to create a partnership with USNA. Callahan, a USNA graduate himself, says this is the beginning of a great relationship with USNA.

“In the spring of 2018, we connected with USNA faculty to gauge interest in combining efforts,” says Callahan. “There were overlapping interests in creating internships for midshipman as well as to form collaborative research and development opportunities. A year later, Crane was able to host five interns this summer.”

Callahan says the long-term value created is beneficial.

“These students provide high quality work—they are highly competitive,” says Callahan. “Naval Academy graduates are potential future leaders of the Navy; they have relevant operational experience in systems we field and they know how systems are deployed. We are exposing future Navy officers to the work we do at Crane and Warfare Centers.”

Callahan says there are many opportunities for research and development between USNA and Crane.

“Our common research interests are a force multiplier on what we are able to accomplish. We can sponsor future research and they can gather ideas for future senior level projects that can further research. I am excited to have helped establish and to continue to grow this partnership.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.