2022 YSU STEM Intern Employer of the Year

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The Aerospace Center is a cutting-edge engineering research center at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). UTEP is an open access, R1 institution that seeks to bring economic opportunity through education to the largely minority community that it serves. The Center is a national leader in recruiting and training students who are underrepresented in STEM occupations including minorities, women and low-income students. 

The Center’s research portfolio investigates many of the emerging opportunities and challenges in the aerospace, defense, and energy industries today. The Center’s digital tools, facilities, and equipment are expansive and reflective of industry trends. The Aerospace Center’s intentional focus, hands-on learning, resources, and engagement opportunities contribute to its students’ successes upon graduation. Employers know that Aerospace Center research assistants will need less on-the-job training than their peers because of this practical experience. This makes former research assistants very attractive to those employers after they graduate and enter the labor pool.

The Aerospace Center is leading the transition to a digital engineering paradigm. This transformational systems development process requires engineers with an entirely new set of skills that aren’t widely available in the engineering workforce. The Aerospace Center and its partners at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at UTEP and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining created four Digital Engineering Aerospace and Defense Systems Design Centers (DEDCs) to fill in that gap. Graduates of the DEDCs will be prepared for a future-ready aerospace and defense workforce with transformational digital engineering skills.

Our Youngstown, Ohio DEDC located at the Youngstown Business Incubator was the first of the DEDCs to launch. YSU has helped us to recruit students for DEDC@YBI. The Center typically hires 40 interns a year; 15 of these are at Youngstown.

The Aerospace Center’s research programs exist as a vehicle for the social and economic mobility of the students who join the Center’s team as research assistants. Over the last decade, the Aerospace Center has placed more than 800 of our graduates in high-paying careers in the aerospace and defense industry with employers like NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Blue Origin. Interns work on our research and through their work, develop the skills needed by industry.

Mackenzie is a standout member of our DEDC team. Her work on the digitalization and manipulation of a robotic arm system has been excellent. Her team’s work is part of a larger effort to create autonomous construction robots that can build and repair infrastructure in space.

The Youngstown DEDC hires new classes of interns at the start of every fall, spring, and summer semester. It’s a great way for engineering and computer science majors to earn income and develop professional skills while they are in school. Contact Mehrin Chowdhury for more information.