Rowan vice president for research Dr. Shreekanth Mandayam would call it an “in-residence internship.”
But the developing partnership between security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin and Rowan’s College of Engineering is creating a more distinct opportunity for Rowan students than the typical internship.
The two parties are collaborating on the development of radar system technology that could have national defense implication through research being held at the South Jersey Technology Park a mile away from Rowan University.
According to a Rowan press release, the students and faculty of the College of Engineering are assisting in the processes of prototyping, evaluating and developing the radar systems while also helping create an educational program on radar engineering.
Rowan vice president for research Dr. Shreekanth Mandayam, who helped negotiate the process, said the program began in the fall semester and will look to expand through the summer and beyond.
“It’s a very exciting academic partnership, and really the first time where a private industry will work with the university on projects that will train students to prepare them for the work industry,” Mandayam said.
However, vice president of university relations Joe Cardona said the university is very familiar with programs he described as “clinics.”
“We have about 70 of them a year where a company says they need help solving “x” and pay us to look at the project and help the students with it,” Cardona said. “We do that every year and their experts will come in and add another project and bring it to the next level where they’re working with faculty and students on more technology.”
Mandayam added that the program also gives companies such as Lockheed Martin a chance to discover potential employees in the student body.
“It’s very clever,” Mandayam said. “They’re growing their future work force, and Rowan is providing a job opportunity for students directly after graduation by accepting this partnership.”
And with all the action taking place down the road from main campus, Mandayam said he hopes further clinics will lead to additions to the technology park, funding for further projects and more opportunities for the college.
“This partnership is expanding,” he said. “We’re figuring out how these two cultures would work, but we’ve blended them and it’s going very well, and we’re pleased with the multiple benefits it creates.”
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