The underlying philosophy of the MPI Internship Program is to provide an educational experience which is meaningful to the student, is contextual, and one which instills excellence. The Internship Program bridges the gap between classroom learning and industrial experience. Unlike co-op programs, the internship program ensures that the industrial internship project is tied in with the academic plan of the student. The MPI Internship provides a holistic and contextual educational experience - a new paradigm in graduate education.
The internship concept is applicable to both undergraduates and graduate students. These are described below:
Graduate Internships in Metal Processing
The program allows students to earn the M.S. degree in materials science and engineering through a combination of practical internship experiences and classroom activities. This approach has proven to be a win-win opportunity for students as well as employers in a host of businesses, agencies and industries, large and small.
MPI staff coordinates the program, identifying the needs of employers and furnishing them with resumes for talented young men and women. After the initial contact, discussions are held directly between students and employers. The internship has no geographical restrictions and scheduling can be flexible. Specific work-study schedules are decided between the student and the sponsor.
Benefits to the Student
The internship program offers a unique experience in graduate education. From the student's viewpoint, it provides a valuable clinical experience as part of the educational process. Specific benefits are listed below:
- Students' knowledge about professional practice and research is strengthened in the laboratory of the real world.
- The clinical exposure helps integrate theory and practice and enhances the practical significance of textbook offerings.
- The internship along with the master's degree can usually be counted for two years experience toward professional engineer registration.
- On-the-job experience helps students build confidence, shape individual goals and make career choices.
- Internship earnings greatly reduce the financial burden of engineering education.
- The industrial experience often provides an environment for identifying and developing topics for thesis and graduate projects.
- Students can gain access to specialized laboratories not available on campus.
Benefits to the Sponsor
Sponsors ranging from industrial firms or government agencies to research organizations can profit from the MPI Internship Program. Benefits include:
- The internship program serves as a source of mature engineering personnel capable of taking on responsible assignments in a professional work environment (all interns have at least a B.S. degree).
- For-credit thesis and graduate project work can be oriented toward program interests of the sponsor. This can provide results in areas that might not otherwise be addressed by regular full-time staff members.
- The program can help maintain an infusion of new talent. Students and employers can make early assessments of each other without making initial long-term commitments.
- Valuable linkages are created between the academic and professional worlds. The program strengthens employers' contact with new ideas, viewpoints and latest generation technologies.
- The program improves access to the facilities and capabilities of MPI including the expertise of the faculty, experimental facilities, computer support capabilities, databases and library holdings.
Recognizing that these graduate students have already completed their first professional degree at the bachelor's level, interns are normally paid at a rate equivalent to entry-level engineer wages. Pay rates are established by the individual employer. Interns may work as full-time or part-time temporary employees of the sponsor, or they may actually be employed by WPI or third party contractors on a cost reimbursable basis.
More specific guidelines on rates of pay can be furnished to sponsors on request.
Establishment of an employer-intern relationship is usually straightforward; students are responsible for their own housing and subsistence.
In cases where work locations are some distance from campus, it may be mutually agreed between students and sponsors that some relocation costs to and from the work assignment will also be reimbursed. This is negotiated directly between the individual sponsor and the student.
The MPI Internship Program serves as an effective vehicle for developing meaningful relationships among WPI faculty members, students and employers.
WPI coordinates the process of bringing students and employers together. While placement is not guaranteed, every effort is made by the Institute to find appropriate work assignments for each qualified student. Final matching and selection are accomplished by direct interview between the sponsor and the student.
With mutual agreement between the faculty advisor and the sponsor, work during the employment assignment can be directed toward completion of the student's thesis or graduate project. If desired, a representative of the sponsor organization can serve on the student's thesis committee along with two WPI faculty members.
A key to success centers on regular communication and evaluation among the students, the sponsors and the faculty. Sponsors are asked to evaluate students' performance on forms provided by the Institute. Students also evaluate the internship experience during and after specific work assignments.
Undergraduate Internships in Metal Processing
This program is designed for undergraduate students who, during their senior year, must complete a major project in their discipline to quality for graduation. At WPI, we call this project the Major Qualifying Project, or MQP. Traditionally, two-to-four students work with a supervising professor on their MQP for about one-third of their senior year. In the past several years, many of these projects have resulted in some significant developments. The MQP project empowers a team of young and innovative people to address a specific problem. Oftentimes, they propose and design innovative solutions. This is an untapped resource for the MPI member companies. Projects identified by our corporate members are advertised to the senior class and, subsequently, seniors select their projects. The students do not receive a salary for this work; however, there may be some peripheral expenses such as supplies or travel costs.
- Air Liquide - Delubrication in P/M Components
- Air Products - Surface Treating
- Aluminum Pechiney - Active Filtration
- Amcast - Filliform Corrosion
- Bodycote - Combining the Densal Process with Solutionizing Heat Treatment of A356
- Caterpillar - Furnace Atmosphere Monitoring Systems (FAMS) Software
- Caterpillar - Carburizing Atmosphere Development and Prediction of Carbon Concentration Profile Using DICTRA/Thermo-Calc
- Contech LLC - Study of Die Soldering in Casting of Aluminum Alloys
- Genzyme - The Development and Characterization of Hydrogels Based on New Formulations Targeting Specific Therapeutic Applications
- GKN - P/M Gear Performance
- Hayes Lemmerz - SSM Processing
- HC Starck - Optimization of Electrode Glass Melting
- Hitchock Industries - Modeling of Sand Casting Processes
- Howmet Corporation - Vacuum Die Casting of Wrought Aluminum Alloys
- Madison Kipp - Induction Heating and SSM Processing
- Montupet - Porosity in Aluminium Weld Components
- ORNL - Heat Treatment of SSM Cast Components
- Sikorsky - Thermal Process Simulation Project
- SPX Contech - SSM Processing of 390 Alloy
- SPX Contech - Alloy Characterization for the New UBE Rheocasting Process
- SPX Contech - Die Soldering
- Thermatool - Spray Quench Study
- UCT - Nanodiamond Coatings
- wTe - Recycling
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Last modified: November 02, 2011 15:34:42