Ten interns from various colleges throughout the region who took part in the third annual TRAX International Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics internship program at White Sands Missile Range graduated Aug. 5 at the Professional Development Center.
The interns worked on various projects during the eight-week-program at WSMR, Holloman Air Force Base, and the Center for Countermeasures.
“I really wanted to get some experience in engineering, be hands on and actually learn a lot,” said Phillip Atencio, a student at New Mexico State University. “I heard about it through an advisor at school and I thought this program would be beneficial for my future.”
During the graduation, students made their final presentations on projects they worked on throughout the internship.
Atencio received the most questions after presenting his project on camera calibration.
“I think my project got a lot of interest because of the potential to save White Sands some money,” Atencio said. “I think the leadership understands there are redundancies.”
At the end of the presentations, WSMR Executive Director Paul Mann encouraged students to continue to look for future opportunities and to make a difference.
“A lot of the things that you’re doing and that you learned are actually going to help us be more capable on White Sands Missile Range,” Mann said. “We want your knowledge and we want your incite, because we want to be more capable.”
“I think White Sands Missile Range benefits in various ways,” said Shayan Abotalebi, a student at NMSU. “With people retiring and to have the opportunity to bring new students and get different perspectives is incredible. By opening up these doors to students like me it lets the public know what is actually done on WSMR and that they are looking for talented individuals to be part of the team.”
At the conclusion of the event, Mann said the program has proven to be a huge success and White Sands Missile Range is looking to expand the program in the future.