The MATC Summer internship program was greatly revised in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses had reacted to the pandemic by having more of their employees work from home. Despite the issues associated with social distancing and remote work, MATC was able to support seven student interns this summer. These students gained invaluable career experience.
In addition to using technology such as email and video chat for effective communication, students also worked with a variety of engineering programs. Caleb Brunick Clark, an engineering student at the University of Nebraska Omaha, used a simulation program Vissim to build intersections and work with his team at MATC to make predictions concerning travel time accuracy and information availability. At the end of his internship he “learned that the transportation industry is far more complex than I previously thought.” John Camenzind also worked remotely at MATC but was able to travel across Nebraska in order to gather data at railroad crossings while working on a project with Dr. Khattak.
Mark Akinshev has been an undergraduate research assistant at NTC’s Midwest Research Safety Facility (MwRSF) since August 2018. During his MATC internship this summer he worked on projects involving cybersecurity and GNSS/GPS research and application with Dr. George Grispos. Christopher Storf worked with MwRSF for the second year in a row, but still found himself working on a variety of projects and learning new things. He worked on a bogie crash test report where he filled out several tables with data collected during the testing process, and worked with other projects in AutoCAD including camera drawings and trajectory drawings.
Peyton Weiss interned with the Great Plains Traffic Group at Felsburg Holt & Ullevig. Although he has interned with them before, this year he was required to work from home. He was still able to connect with his team through video technology to discuss projects like Green Light Lincoln and the South Dakota Department of Transportation Decennial Interstate Study, among other traffic studies.
Harry Nguyen interned at the Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC) and found that although working from home made it harder to communicate, his work schedule had more flexibility. He worked with Dr. Li Zhao, with whom he had previously taken classes with on campus, but was now able to work with on a one-on-one research basis. At the end of summer, he received the Best Intern Report award at the wrap up luncheon. All the intern reports are available on the MATC website: http://matc.unl.edu/internship/internship_success.php.
The MATC intern program has been run for over 20 years and it would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Given the difficulty faced in 2020 we are particularly grateful our sponsors were willing to help us have another successful year.
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