Northrop Grumman Aerospace

An interview with Yolanda Lin '11

Yolanda is a mechanical engineering major at Thayer School, though she is also studying Japanese. When she is not building ping pong ball-eating robots or working in Professor John Collier's biomedical engineering laboratory, she enjoys teaching the fundamentals of science and engineering as part of Thayer's After School Science program. She spent the summer of 2010 working at Northrop Grumman Aerospace in El Segundo, CA.



Describe your research project or responsibilities:  

I was involved with a project that involved some field testing, so I was able to see and be involved with everything from procuring equipment, planning the procedures, and analyzing data.  I also wrote some post-processing Matlab code.  The subject matter was really an EE related project.  Since most of my coursework has been in mechanical, it was a great learning experience.

Did you get to tour the facilities on base?

Yes! This was so cool considering all the amazing projects Northrop Grumman has been involved with over the years.  I got to touch a wing of the Global Hawk!  

What other kinds of people were involved with your project?

Overall the company probably has over 90 interns, mostly on the engineering side, but also a number on the business side.  In my area there were about seven other student interns who I saw on a day to day basis, though I was the only intern on my project.  My particular team on my project was fairly young (probably most within five years out of college), and all very bright.  They had a lot to offer in experience and advice, but could also relate to a college-aged intern.  

What kinds of social events were there?

At least once a week there were lunch-and-learns for the interns, usually revolving around a guest speaker (and free food!).  There were also other occasional outings, such as a beach party, ice cream social, etc.  

What was your favorite part about working at your organization?

Working in a large company has some great benefits  -- there's literally an expert in every discipline just around the corner, and everyone that I interacted with was so willing to help me with whatever work I had.  Also, a lot of the technology was really on the cutting edge, which always makes things exciting.