ECU engineering students selected for naval research internships

Three students from East Carolina University’s Department of Engineering have received fellowships through the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) and will be spending the summer working at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sophie Arruza

Sophie Arruza

Sophomores Sophie Arruza and Molly Lasure and graduate student Matthew Stengrim are among a national contingent of students who will be part of a program in which they will help conduct naval research for 10 weeks this summer. All three are part of a team of students working on acoustics and vibrations research through a naval research grant to Dr. Teresa Ryan, associate professor in the Department of Engineering.

According to the Navy, the program gives academically talented college students pursuing STEM careers the opportunity to learn about naval research and technology while mentored by top scientists and engineers. Interns are selected based on academic achievement, personal statements, recommendations, and career and research interests.

With concentrations in electrical engineering and industrial and systems engineering, Arruza will be working in the Data Collection, Instrumentation, Controls and Electronics Group of the Maritime Systems Hydromechanics Branch.

“It means a lot for me to have such opportunities early on in my undergraduate studies because it helps me learn more about engineering and specifically about electrical engineering,” said Arruza, who is also part of ECU’s Honors College. “I’m looking forward to experiencing the area around Washington, D.C.”

Molly Lasure

Molly Lasure

Originally from Apex, Arruza said she’s looking forward to applying her classroom and lab experiences to naval research.

“I’m excited to learn more about electronic systems through this project and how they are applied to real-life situations,” she said. “This internship also opens opportunities and connections that I wouldn’t otherwise have. It also allows me to narrow down what I want to do in the future and potential career paths.”

With concentrations in mechanical and biomedical engineering, Lasure will be working in the Structural Acoustics Group in the Signatures Monitoring and Surface Ships Program Branch.

“Getting the chance to conduct research with and learn from some of the nation’s best engineers and scientists is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass on,” Lasure said of the program.

Lasure, who grew up in Greenville and is part of the Honors College, believes the program will help her expand her skills.

“This unique experience will give me more knowledge about engineering research and allow me to apply what I’ve learned from my classes at ECU to real-world issues,” she said.

Matthew Stengrim

Matthew Stengrim

Stengrim, a mechanical engineering master’s student from Jacksonville, will be working on testing and evaluation in the Signatures Monitoring and Surface Ships Program Branch.

“It’s a huge opportunity to peek into the world of naval research and defense — something I’ve been interested in for a long time,” he said. “It means a lot that my lab, the Department of Engineering and most especially my advisor, Dr. Ryan, have been so encouraging and supportive of me.”

As the son of a Marine, Stengrim is familiar with the military and the atmosphere of a military base.

“The hope is always that it may lead to a career somewhere,” he said of the internship. “It makes me hopeful and excited that a career in naval research may be possible because it aligns with my personal interest and fascination with what the U.S. Navy does.”

He said he feels fortunate to work with a team at ECU that enhances his interest in engineering and helped him get accepted as a NREIP intern.

“I feel very privileged to work with such good people,” Stengrim said.

ECU’s Department of Engineering is part of the College of Engineering and Technology. The program offers a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in biomedical, biochemical, electrical, environmental, mechanical, and industrial and systems engineering. Master’s degrees are available in biomedical and mechanical engineering.