Purdue University Northwest’s School of Engineering is partnering with Munster High School to bring an internship program to the PNW Hammond campus. PNW says the Engineering Internship Program, which is part of its department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, exposes high school students to college-level experiences.

The university says the program is partnering with MHS through Brad Docter, career and technical education coordinator. This fall, MHS student Rayhan Zaman is working on a project to improve fuel efficiency through the program.

“These high school students are applying what they learn to actual college level and real-world activities,” Docter said. “At first, I thought this would be too difficult for the students, but they are stepping up and not only meeting the challenge but succeeding beyond my expectations. This partnership has increased our students’ interest in engineering and also in Purdue Northwest. The last four students who have gone through the internship have enrolled in a PNW Engineering program.”

PNW says Zaman’s internship is focused on the design of a mechanical iris: “a mechanism that helps control light entry into a solar reactor, making it possible to maintain constant temperatures to provide steady fuel efficiency.”

“I know most high schools do not give the opportunity to do these types of internships, so I am grateful for the opportunity to be here,” said Zaman. “I have been really interested in engineering since I was little, and the internship is a great way for me to apply many of the skills I learned in school to a real-world task.”

PNW’s Mechanical and Civil Engineering lab supervisors Connor Feeney and Marcel Mejulu serve as program mentors. Interns are taught engineering design principles with Computer-Aided Design and SolidWorks software to create their own machines or machine parts.

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