NSWC Philadelphia Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia

Operating Status Summer 2023:

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

Student Requirements:

Interns must be U.S. citizens. They must also have their own transportation onto the internship 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?

NSWC Philadelphia 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, NSWC Philadelphia has the added responsibility of logistics, materials evaluation, additive manufacturing AND metrology, and more. Essentially, if it goes inside of a U.S. Navy ship, NSWC Philadelphia is responsible for it in some way. NSWC Philadelphia covers the entire ship life cycle from concept design through in-service operation, modernization, and disposal.

About the Internship

We are seeking motivated high school students with an interest in shipboard machinery systems. The primary fields of interest in order of demand are mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, cybersecurity, marine engineering, naval engineering, chemical engineering, applied mathematics, systems engineering, aerospace engineering, naval architecture, bioengineering, and industrial engineering. Other related fields may be considered.

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

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 and evaluation, modeling and simulation, research and development, in-service engineering support, or other activities. The internship also includes networking opportunities with NSWC Philadelphia employees and other interns as well as a lecture series on topics relevant to life and work at NSWC Philadelphia.

What Subjects Should Students Be Studying To Be A Good Fit For Interning At This Lab?

The primary subjects of interest include:

  • Aeronautics
  • Algebra
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Geometry
  • Government
  • Management/Leadership
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Programming
  • Robotics
  • Statistics and Probability

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

NSWC Philadelphia 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 and 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.

Application of reverse engineering laser metrology technology for parts obsolescence. Creating CAD part files and assemblies from physical parts.

Investigation of shipboard navigation systems and analyzing cybersecurity threats. Activities include computer programming and cybersecurity as well as hands-on testing and evaluation.

Research and development of shipboard fan systems. Activities include aerodynamic performance analysis, data acquisition, and research into novel techniques.

Propulsion and machinery systems automation. Activities include mechanical, electrical, computer programming, and cybersecurity including hands-on laboratory work and testing control panels and other equipment.