What to do as a research intern?

In summary, Joshy recommends looking for a bunch of internships first and then focusing on the professors' projects to get a better idea of what they are interested in.
  • #1
quixote
6
4
Electrical undergrad here,
done with my second year and due to multiple factors(mostly covid), I'm home for the summer of '21. By this time next year, I hope to get an internship(research) in a university that is for the summer of '22. I'm not very sure on what to do this summer other than taking courses online and maybe developing skills like MATLAB, Spice, coding in Python etc, catch up on reading some literature.

Any suggestion is welcome or if you have been a research intern surrounding topics in Electrical, could you share some insights?

Thank You.:smile:
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I recommend looking for a bunch of internships first and see what kind of skills or projects they might be advertising, or look at the professors webpage to see what their working on. Then you'll know what can buff yourself on and advertise to them as a perfect candidate. Cater to the roles of interest!

I think python, MATLAB, and C/C++ programming is a good idea :) it couldn't hurt you and you'll probably have classes covering some of this stuff too.

My earlier internships were on nanotechnology and semiconductor physics. It's very research oriented. I'm far from being an expert, but I saw lots of projects at my time on things like graphene or carbon nanotubes (CNTs), emerging solar cell material, III-V materials like gallium nitride (GaN), and microelectromechanical structures (MEMS). If your school has access to papers you could look some up on things like scholar.google.com and just read a few of them or even look up papers directly written by the professors you are considering. I think these topics are very hard to understand, but if any of them catches your fancy that might give you some direction on what you might want to try or learn more about.

I'm not sure if it was just me or I'll just say from my own perspective... it felt like there were few opportunities with SPICE simulations. Something that popped up more often for me that did involve some schematics was importing them into layout. This stuff helped me with my first jobs. I would look around for any kind of workshops on CircuitMaker (by Altium) or EAGLE. I'm not sure if there's a free version of Allegro, PADS, or Zuken, but I see these ones all the time too. Some topics that are interesting are like choosing stack-ups, choosing trace width such as for signal integrity or RF transmission lines, and power distribution network (PDN). Altium by the way has a lot of "white papers" on this stuff, and signalintegrityjournal.com has a lot of good stuff too.

I think some DIY projects especially using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or if you can afford one of the Xilinx boards would be very good. Xilinx has a Xilinx University website and you might be able to access their workshops. I would work on 2-3 or DIY projects could be something like instrumentation say for instance I did something where we made a homemade breathalyzer and a friend of mine did their own "smart" glasses. I've done some other very basic things like making a speaker or maybe a car that follows a line. Other control related things could be like a Verilog project that you just synthesize- can look up stuff from a digital design class example project might be like Fibonacci sequence or some compression like RLE in Verilog. If you got access to the Xilinx stuff you could explore embedded C and try some stuff out with SPI or I2C commands.
 
  • Like
Likes yucheng and quixote
  • #3
Joshy said:
Cater to the roles of interest!
I will most defenitely keep this in mind.
Joshy said:
CircuitMaker (by Altium) or EAGLE
I've been checking some stuff out but I really wanted to do some physical realization of stuff since I was super into control systems, but with me stuck at home, all I can do are some reading and simulations. Hardware is not very accessible from my place of residence.

Joshy said:
but if any of them catches your fancy that might give you some direction
I'm still not very sure of what field in EE to get into, but I can say I'm not a VLSI, semiconductor guy even though the field is rather lucrative.
I hope to get a clear through the summer of 2021.

Thanks Joshy.
 
  • #4
quixote said:
Joshy said:
CircuitMaker (by Altium) or EAGLE.
I've been checking some stuff out but I really wanted to do some physical realization of stuff since I was super into control systems, but with me stuck at home, all I can do are some reading and simulations. Hardware is not very accessible from my place of residence.
These are exactly the tools used for physical realization and I recommended free tools. The ones I see used at internships and industry are usually Altium and (Cadence) Allegro.

I recommend trying to go through a tutorial front-to-back flow. CircuitMaker has a pretty good one here and it's very similar to their full-version Altium. I've seen Altium in a lot of job descriptions in my area and it helped me with a few internships as well as my first jobs.

You can go through the flow without having something fabbed. It's also possible to look up low cost options for fabrication facilities to have something made if you were willing to spend a little bit on it; I've seen a few places with low cost offers for students too.
 
  • Like
Likes quixote

Related to What to do as a research intern?

1. What are the responsibilities of a research intern?

As a research intern, your responsibilities may vary depending on the specific project or lab you are working in. However, some common responsibilities include conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data, literature review, and assisting with writing reports or presentations.

2. How can I make the most out of my research internship?

To make the most out of your research internship, it is important to communicate with your supervisor and colleagues, ask questions, and take initiative in your work. It is also helpful to attend seminars or conferences related to your field of research and network with other professionals.

3. What skills can I expect to gain as a research intern?

As a research intern, you can expect to gain a variety of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, communication, and time management. You may also learn specific laboratory techniques and gain knowledge in your field of research.

4. How can I prepare for a research internship?

To prepare for a research internship, it is important to have a strong foundation in your field of study and to familiarize yourself with the specific research topic of the lab you will be working in. It is also helpful to brush up on any relevant laboratory techniques and to have a positive attitude and willingness to learn.

5. What are the potential career opportunities after a research internship?

A research internship can open up many potential career opportunities in the scientific field. You may choose to continue on to graduate school, pursue a career in academia, or work in industry. The skills and experience gained during your research internship can also be applied to a variety of other fields such as data analysis, consulting, or science communication.

Similar threads

  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
17
Views
326
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
757
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
904
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
546
  • STEM Academic Advising
3
Replies
82
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
272
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
25
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
1K
Back
Top