NSWC Philadelphia Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia

Operating Status Summer 2024:

On-site (The internship will be performed entirely at the lab)

Student Requirements:

Interns must be U.S. citizens, but dual citizens are eligible. Applicants must be turning 18 years old before the start of internship. Interns must also have their own transportation to get to on site.


To provide research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, engineering, systems integration, in-service engineering and fleet support with cybersecurity, comprehensive logistics, and life cycle savings through commonality for surface and undersea vehicle machinery, ship systems, equipment and material, and to execute other responsibilities as assigned by Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center.

About the Lab

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) provides the Navy's primary technical expertise and facilities for both naval machinery research and development and naval machinery lifecycle engineering. NSWCPD is responsible for the machinery systems core equity of the Ship and Ship Systems Product Area for the United States Navy and serves as a central point for academia and industry to join forces with Navy technical experts to develop solutions to needs in naval machinery. Consistent with its core equity responsibility, NSWCPD fulfills key functions including research, design, development, shipboard and land-based test and evaluation, acquisition support, in-service engineering.

What is unique about this lab?

NSWCPD is responsible for current and future U.S. Navy surface, undersea, and amphibious vehicle machinery systems. This includes, but is not limited to: cybersecurity, control (C5), electrical/power, mechanical, thermal/fluid, propulsion, life support, environmental, structural, and other systems. Additionally, NSWCPD has the added responsibility of logistics, materials evaluation, additive manufacturing, metrology, and more. Essentially, if it goes inside of a US Navy ship, NSWCPD is responsible for it in some way. NSWCPD covers the entire ship life cycle from concept design through in-service operation, modernization, and disposal.

About the Internship

We are seeking motivated college students with an interest in shipboard machinery systems. Students are assigned a technical project and work with one or mentors to complete the project and present on it at the end of the summer. Work may include testing & evaluation, modeling & simulation, research & development, in-service engineering support, or other activities. The internship also includes networking opportunities with NSWCPD employees and other interns as well as a lecture series on topics relevant to life and work at NSWCPD.

What will I do any given day as an intern at this lab?

Interns participate in lab functions in a number of ways including (but not limited to) assisting mentors with guided research projects; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; team and leadership development; attending technical meetings, seminars and/or conferences; group mentoring sessions; touring labs; and other professional development activities. Some interns will also have the opportunity to complete additional short-term projects under the lab’s guidance.

What majors and disciplines are a good fit for interning at this lab?

The primary fields of interest are:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Architecture
  • Naval Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

Other related fields may be considered.

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

NSWCPD internships are an immersive opportunity to learn about multiple fields of study in addition to getting a deep dive in one particular field. Interns often learn about marine engineering/naval architecture, systems engineering, thermal/fluid systems, electrical/power systems, command/control/computers/communications/cybersecurity (C5) systems, additive manufacturing/metrology/augmented & virtual reality, project/program management, and more over the course of the summer.

What kinds of projects do interns at this lab participate in?

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned. NSWC is a dynamic lab with ever evolving projects so interns may be assigned to a variety of other tasks not listed.

HFC 134a high global warming potential replacement refrigerant: Intern assists with the identification of low global warming potential refrigerants including testing AC chiller components with drop-in replacements, AC plant test site installation, and start-up testing.

Propulsion shafting alignment training and requirements development: Intern assists the propulsion shafting team in supporting the research and testing of advanced bearing materials to develop Stribeck curves for different paired materials. Stribeck curves help predict bearing wear and service life. The intern also assists in developing shafting alignment standards and products to support the in-service engineering agents in updating the training class materials and Fleet standards.

Salinity monitoring system testing: Intern assists in aspects of mechanical, electrical, and control systems testing related to control panels and other equipment supporting salinity monitoring. Activities include computer programming and cybersecurity as well as hands-on testing & evaluation.

Research & development in superconductivity: Intern assists in testing & evaluation activities related to studying the magnetic effects on pneumatic motor operations as well as studying current state of high-temperature superconducting wire performance and cost.

Machinery plant control and monitoring systems: Intern assists in new software design and development for shipboard machinery plant control and monitoring systems. Intern uses a combination of virtual machine, java script, visual basic, Arduino, and C programming languages and develops a better understanding of requirements testing.