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NSWC Crane student intern applies engineering experience to accelerate undergraduate learning

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Oct. 28, 2019

CRANE, Ind. – A Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) student intern uses engineering experience to accelerate his undergraduate education at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Andrew Steffey, a Student Trainee at NSWC Crane, has spent the last two summers gaining hands-on electrical engineering experience working with microelectronics.

Tammy Berger, a Branch Manager at NSWC Crane, says she is proud of Steffey and enjoys seeing his professional growth from his first summer internship. 

“It is inspiring to have interns bring extra energy to our program,” says Berger. “Andrew is a hardworking, quick learning, valuable team member. In July, one of our customers recognized him with a command coin for his contribution for work completed during his second summer. We look forward to his return and his contributions to the mission.”

Steffey is part of the Pathways Internship Program, which is designed to provide students with opportunities to work and explore Federal careers while still in school. Steffey, who is also currently a senior at USI studying Electrical Engineering, says he was able to put into practice the engineering concepts he is learning at USI.  

“Experience is a big thing,” says Steffey. “I was able to learn about microelectronics alongside the technical experts and senior engineers at NSWC Crane. The projects I have worked on as an intern have correlated to my coursework as a student, which has helped me gain broader understanding of the engineering principles taught in class.”

Steffey says the rigor of the work as an NSWC Crane intern has made him a better engineering student.

“With the microelectronics we work on, it’s critical for the data and information to be accurate because that helps the fleet access and use systems that work when they need it. It’s a unique experience working for the Department of Defense. The projects I worked on were definitely rigorous and the knowledge I’ve gained has not only benefitted me, but it has also allowed me to help other USI engineering students in class.”

 Steffey says the mission is rewarding.

“Doing the work and helping the warfighter is very fulfilling,” says Steffey. “My brother, who is in the Navy, used to work on the same system I did. What I’m doing at NSWC Crane directly impacts the warfighter.”

He recommends the internship to students considering a challenging internship experience.

“If they haven’t heard of Crane, I would tell them about how I was able to work on engineering problems-- not just design and not just theoretical. You get to work on real-world situations and electronic--and make them better and more efficient for sailors and the Navy.”

About NSWC Crane

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.