By Mr. Dan Lafontaine (RDECOM)August 11, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- U.S. Army engineering interns are using their expertise to boost student interest in science and technology.
College students working this summer here at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are helping to design the Army’s first recruiting project geared specifically toward civilian science and engineering positions.
Ryan Muzii, a mechanical engineering major at York College in Pennsylvania, has worked for ECBC’s Advanced Design and Manufacturing group for the past two summers. He has always wanted to work for the military, he said.
“I’m involved in the design aspect. They give me a picture and say, ‘Here, this is what we want. Make it work,’ ” Muzii said. “This is the first time I’ve had this type of work experience. I’ve never gone from concept to reality.”
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Innovation Asset will be a modified tractor-trailer equipped with high-definition televisions and touchscreen computers. The Army will unveil the vehicle in January during All-American Bowl Week in San Antonio.
Teams of Army recruiters and subject matter experts will drive the vehicle across the United States to STEM education outreach events.
Muzii has worked on the design of the vehicle’s interior doors, exterior and the area that will hold televisions, monitors and speakers.
Dan Colgan, a mechanical engineering major at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, helped design the exterior stairs and ceiling fill lights. He said he worked on four concepts for a fill light bracket before it worked correctly.
“It’s nice to be able to design something and have it built on-site so we can troubleshoot it,” Colgan said. “It’s a lot more educational to be in a real-life scenario to design something, see how it doesn’t work and fix it. It’s nice to be on the leading edge of design and fabrication.”
Muzii said the greatest challenge has been transferring engineering concepts into real-world solutions.
“It was a difficult struggle to try to get what the division wanted in real life. Some things we just couldn’t possibly do,” Muzii said. “We made it easier to manufacture.”
“I’ve seen a lot of theory [at school]. When I came here, I see this is what we actually do and where I can apply myself. I actually do use what my professor says.”