Rose-Hulman Ventures Expands Student Internship Experiences

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Female student intern using measuring device working on a project. She is wearing a mask to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Dozens of Rose-Hulman Ventures’ student interns are working this summer to help professional engineers, software developers and designers create solutions on a variety of real-world projects.

Rose-Hulman Ventures has stepped up to provide valuable hands-on, real-world work experiences this summer to Rose-Hulman students impacted by decreased internship opportunities because of COVID-19-related cutbacks by companies and organizations.

A total of 51 students are currently working at the institute’s innovative workspace to discover the best ways to create new ideas for individual entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies.

“We usually have 30 to 40 interns during the summer, but decided to hire as many as we could safely house this year when a number of students started losing their internships due to the pandemic,” says Brian Dougherty, Rose-Hulman Ventures’ senior director.

Students are working with highly experienced engineers, software developers, project managers, and technicians on a variety of projects this summer. These assignments include studying how best to repair underground municipal infrastructure, examining payload limitations for drones, and developing complex software systems for state tax forms and fire protection system inspection. Interns are also coming up with electromechanical systems to detect poor musculoskeletal habits, developing automated machinery for production systems, and assisting longstanding projects on brain surgery tools.

And, interns are paid for their assistance on these projects.

“Our projects are as real as it gets,” says Dougherty, who has helped manage student interns throughout Rose-Hulman Ventures’ 20-year existence. “For most of our interns, it is their first opportunity to practice what they learn in class in the real world, and they find that real projects are much less ideal than homework.

“This is also the first time many of the interns have been immersed in a problem as large as our projects,” he continues. “Many of them are overwhelmed at the scale of the tasks at hand. By working at Rose-Hulman Ventures, they learn that even the biggest problems can be picked apart by someone with their skills, and they become comfortable with the idea that they can stand in front of an overwhelming issue, and make a difference.”

Rose-Hulman Ventures also hires interns throughout each school year. These students tend to be mechanical, biomedical, electrical computer, and software engineering majors, along with computer science majors and students in the institute's new engineering design program.

“We are primarily looking for students with strong creative design skills and the ability to create the things they are designing,” says Dougherty.