NSWC Panama City Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City

Operating Status Summer 2024:

Hybrid (The internship will be performed partly at the lab and partly off-site)

Student Requirements:

Interns must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. They must also have a driver’s license and their own transportation to the internship site.


The mission of NSWC PCD is to conduct research, development, test and evaluation, and in-service support in Mine Warfare, Naval Special Warfare, Diving and Life Support, and Amphibious and Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare Systems, as well as other missions in the Littoral Battlespace.

About the Lab

NSWC PCD is the U.S. Navy’s premier research and development organization focused on littoral warfare and expeditionary warfare. It is the principal repository of the national expertise in these areas that are absolutely critical to the future of Navy and Marine Corps operations. This expertise is based upon a diverse technical workforce. The command employs more than 1,500 civilian employees of which over 800 were scientists and engineers.

What is unique about this lab?

A unique feature of NSWC PCD that is unduplicated in the United States is the natural operating environment provided by the ready access to the Gulf of Mexico and its associated littoral and coastal regions. It is this characteristic, coupled with the synergistic nature of the organization’s mission areas, that sets NSWC Panama City apart from other R&D activities. The Gulf of Mexico provides a surrogate environment for most of the littoral areas of the world in which the Navy will find itself operating for the foreseeable future.

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; group mentoring sessions; and team building workshops.


The primary subjects of interest include:

  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Physics
  • Robotics
  • Statistics and Probability

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

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned:

Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare: NSWC PCD’s goal includes improving the Navy's and Marine Corps' ability to project power ashore by means of amphibious operations. The NSWC PCD is the national authority on air-cushion vehicle technology and application, and the interface of these vehicles with the Navy’s amphibious ships. It maintains strong capabilities in research, engineering, technical direction, management, and life support for amphibious warfare, U.S. Marine Corps, and Strategic Sealift systems.

Coastal Operations: NSWC PCD is the national center of expertise for coastal operations. The technologies, systems, and equipment developed in support of the Navy needs are applicable in many cases to the solution of non-DOD type problems. The Coastal Operations mission focuses on the transfer of this knowledge and technology base to the solution of problems encountered by local, state, industrial, and non-DOD organizations.

Diving, Life Support, and Damage Control Systems: Coupled with the tenant commands of the Experimental Diving Unit and the Diving and Salvage Training Center, NSWC PCD represents the national center of expertise for military diving. This team addresses all aspects of dive-system development, test and evaluation, and training. The technologies and techniques associated with diving systems have been successfully applied to a variety of non-diving life support systems such as fire-fighting breathing apparatus.

Mine Warfare: The NSWC PC is the recognized world leader in mine countermeasure and mine systems. It is the repository of the Nation’s mine warfare expertise. As such, the NSWC PC maintains a robust spectrum of efforts in research & development, test & evaluation, and infleet support of naval airborne, surface, and shallow-water mine countermeasures systems and naval sea mine systems. It is the champion for the transition to organic mine countermeasures. The expertise of the NSWC PC in this critical warfare area is unequalled.

Littoral Science and Technology: Under the sponsorship of the Office of Naval Research, NSWC PC maintains a robust science and technology program relative to the littoral environment. Technology developments focus in the areas of autonomous systems, advanced acoustic, magnetic and electro-optic sensors, modeling and simulation, digital visualizations, signal processing, life support and manned diving, air cushion vehicle design, and ancillary equipment for support of military sealift operations.