NMSU students discover new skills through internship opportunities

WRITER: Adriana M. Chavez

A group of New Mexico State University students helped achieve significant contributions to innovations made in the world of unmanned aerial systems while discovering cutting edge skills.

The students worked as interns at Emerging Technology Ventures, Inc., or ETV, which is headquartered in Alamogordo. ETV and four other companies have been working with scientists from Sandia National Laboratories to create a battery measurement device to be used in unmanned aerial systems. The partnership between ETV and the four companies has been supported by New Mexico Small Business Assistance program’s Leveraged Projects funding.

Griselda Martinez, the NMSBA program director at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, helped place the interns at ETV in collaboration with faculty from Computer Science and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Two interns became full-time employees at ETV after graduating Saturday, Dec. 12. Martinez said ETV has asked for Arrowhead’s assistance in finding interns for next semester.

“It is a great opportunity for new ventures working with innovative technologies to take advantage of all the resources available in southern New Mexico, including the resources available through Arrowhead Center,” Martinez said.

ETV owner Cliff Hudson said his company creates “a culture of innovation that supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through public-private partnerships fostering the development of tomorrow’s leaders in science and engineering.”

Hudson said he’s impressed with the company’s interns from NMSU.

“The intern program has been an outstanding talent for us. As a young company, building our core engineering team has been greatly facilitated through the NMSU interns,” Hudson said. “We’re pleased that upon graduation, the first interns will be joining us in a full-time capacity this December. They will immediately move into key positions as they already understand our product and market development goals.”

One of the interns hired for a full-time position is mechanical engineering major Rachel Romo, who said the internship has helped her gain experience in actual engineering applications such as deadlines, working in a team setting and collaborating to meet a customer’s needs.

“Working at ETV has showed me how to work with a customer on a huge project and successfully complete the project in four months,” Romo said. “I definitely enjoyed this experience and learned how to utilize my skills that I have learned at NMSU. This opportunity has provided me with a job when I graduate and also taught me the skills necessary to complete an engineering design project.”

Kevin Saucedo, an electrical engineering major at NMSU, said his internship experience at ETV inspired him to further his career aspirations and raise the bar academically.

“There is no doubt it has helped me grow equally as a leader and as a team member facing real world problems in advanced technology,” Saucedo said. “I’m thankful for the laughs, hardworking days and the solutions that came through this process.”

Hudson said that in addition to the internship program, the NMSBA has provided key engineering support through Sandia National Labs.

“We’ve just completed Phase 1 of a Smart Battery Management System and are pleased that Phase 2 will be beginning in early December. The technology being developed by Sandia addresses key technological and operational challenges facing unmanned systems, the assessment of battery condition and the ability to safely operate in critical environments,” Hudson said.

Hudson said the company will integrate the Sandia technologies into their command and control and mission planning systems for unmanned air and ground platforms.

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