Two NJIT undergraduates will attend an elite 11-week paid summer internship program sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. Some 150 students from universities throughout the nation will participate in the prestigious program which involves a rigorous acceptance process.
“Research opportunities such as these are an essential part of a student’s education at NJIT, providing a chance to see how classroom knowledge is applied in the world,” said David Reibstein, PhD, associate dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College.
The internship program, known as the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), accepts students to work for 11 weeks. Their work will contribute to an ongoing research project under the guidance of a NIST scientist or engineer from one of nine major laboratories. In addition, a summer-long lecture series exposes students to a sampling of diverse research topics, presented in ways to pique interest.
SURF students receive a stipend, plus travel and housing allowances. Applicants were required to submit a statement of commitment and a description of prioritized research interests. NIST is one of the world’s leading research organizations and home to three Nobel Prize winners.
Uyiosa Abusomwan and Fatima Fabara, both seniors, hope the internship will provide invaluable experience and terrific exposure to research and related fields.
Abusomwan, a student in the Albert Dorman Honors College, who is originally from a small town in the Edo state of Nigeria called Benin and now lives in East Orange, views the internship as a foundation for later career accomplishments. While there, he’ll work in the intelligent systems division developing evaluation tools for assessing the consistency of robot-generated maps. He was hired, in large part, thanks to his background in programming and calculus. When he graduates next December from NJIT, he hopes to start working immediately while also pursuing a master’s degree.
Fabara, who grew up in Ecuador and lives now in Passaic, transferred to NJIT from Bergen Community College. She plans to graduate about a year and half from now. At NIST, she’ll work in the materials science and engineering laboratory in the Center for Neutron Research. She’ll focus on characterizing polymers under the supervision of Sheng Lin-Gibson, PhD. The chemical engineering courses she took at NJIT have given her a closer look into the many facets of science and chemical engineering, she said.
Courses like organic chemistry and heat transfer were especially helpful. The job is her first research experience and she believes it will impact her career. Eventually, Fabara hopes to obtain a doctorate and become a researcher.