Students get DREAM internship

Four engineering students have been selected to participate in an internship program and will also receive about $20,000 in scholarships. 

July 7 was the start of the interns’ participation in the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate Diversity in Research and Engineering of Advanced Materials Intern Program (DREAM). With a name so lengthy, one couldn’t help but ponder on its probable complex and challenging work. 

Adjacent to the College of Engineering is the High-Performance Materials Institute lab. The interns will spend most of their time for the next ten weeks in the lab.

The goal of the program is “to enhance the research experience in science and engineering of U.S. students in under-represented groups,” said Kenya Martin, the DREAM program manager. 

 The newly built HPMI lab consists of 13 labs where the students will research their assigned topics while under the supervision of HPMI investigators. The interns are required to research their topics in preparation for their presentation in September – when the program ends.

One of the intern’s topics involves nanotubes and buckypaper, a material that was recently discovered to be harder than granite.

 “At first I was terrified of my topic. I was completely clueless of what they wanted from me. Now, after researching, I’m really excited about learning more about nanotubes and all their capabilities,” said Maria Aisagbonhi, 20, a fourth year engineering student from Winchester, Mass.

Upon completion of the program, each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship, which is a huge incentive for students.

“I heard about the program late,” said Justin Allen, 21, a fourth year engineering student from Atlanta “I would definitely see if I qualify next year.”

For more information concerning the program contact Kenya Martin at