NASA internships and New Zealand Space Agency scholarships
The New Zealand Space Agency invited high-performing New Zealand tertiary students to apply to participate in the 2019 NASA International Internship Programme. To complement this opportunity, the New Zealand Space Agency offered the New Zealand Space Scholarship.
The 2019 application process has now closed. Subscribe to Space Agency updates to hear about future opportunities.
NASA International Internship Programme
The NASA International Internship Programme is an opportunity for tertiary students from around the world to work collaboratively on research with a NASA mentor.
The programme takes place at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in Silicon Valley, California and is designed to enhance international and intercultural understanding and skills by working on NASA research or a NASA-related mission or project.
Opportunities for collaboration with a diverse range of other interns are provided in both formal and informal settings.
2019 NASA Autumn Interns
Over 200 applications were submitted to the New Zealand Space Agency’s call for NASA International Internship Programme. From this, Hammond Pearce, Rose Swears, Andrew Alder and Steven McCabe were selected for the first Summer intake from June to August 2019.
A further three students, from the same round of applications, has now been selected and accepted for a second Autumn intake to run from August to December 2019.
The New Zealand students to participate in the second intake are:
Finbar is completing his PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on using computational methods to improve the efficiency and performance of electric vehicles.
At NASA Finbar will be working on aircraft aerodynamics (specifically rotorcraft such as drones which may used for planetary exploration).
Lynley St George
Lynley (Ngāti Porou) is undertaking her MSc in Computer Science at the University of Waikato. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction and data visualisation.
At NASA Lynley will be working on Novel Media Visualisation – taking data and raw images from space and planets and translating them into different media we can all understand.
Sam recently graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Engineering specialising in Mechatronics.
At NASA Sam will use images captured by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and apply new ways of analysing them to find undiscovered earth and super-earth sized planets hundreds of light years away.
2019 NASA Summer Interns
The New Zealand Space Agency received high calibre applications from talented tertiary students studying STEM subjects. Four students, three based in New Zealand and one already studying in the US, were accepted into the first 2019 summer intake (June – August 2019) and granted scholarships by MBIE.
Andrew is completing a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Andrew’s graduate studies in the US are supported by the Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award.
At NASA Andrew designed sensors to control aircraft with efficient flexible wings.
Steven is in the final stages of his PhD in Electronic Engineering at the University of Waikato. This research involved designing medical implants that can be used safely in MRI machines.
At NASA between June-August Steven designed wireless sensors for use in planetary exploration.
Rose is completing a Master of Science in Chemistry at the University of Waikato. During her time at university Rose collaborated on a project to design new environmentally-friendly solid rocket fuels.
At NASA Rose developed an electrochemical method for detecting trace amounts of metal ions in seawater, for deep-space applications such as investigating potentially life-supporting watery moons.
Hammond is completing his PhD in Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on safety-critical computer controlled mechanical systems.
At NASA Hammond worked on a new type of neural network for controlling robotics.
The New Zealand Space Scholarship
To help successful applicants undertake their internship the New Zealand Space Agency awarded them a New Zealand Space Scholarship.
The scholarship aims to:
- Support New Zealand’s high-achieving students in space-related activities – the programme will give New Zealand’s future innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists a head-start in their careers by enabling them to develop technical skills at a world-leading space agency, build international professional networks and develop their understanding of the global space economy.
- Build capability in the New Zealand space economy – New Zealand’s ability to leverage existing international space intelligence, thought-leaders and networks such as those at NASA is crucial as we continue to build capability in the New Zealand space industry. Over time, the programme’s alumni will provide a unique source of skills, knowledge and expertise into the New Zealand space economy.
- Strengthen New Zealand’s connection to the global space network – the programme offers an opportunity to enhance New Zealand’s reputation as an active, responsible and credible space actor and strengthens New Zealand’s connection to the global space network.
- Demonstrates New Zealand’s high-quality tertiary education – supporting New Zealand students to participate in the programme demonstrates that New Zealand tertiary education prepares students to achieve in STEM at the highest levels.
What does the scholarship cover?
The scholarship covered specified costs relating to the internship at NASA, as follows:
- return economy airfares to United States
- NASA administration fee
- stipend (to cover food, travel and other related expenses)
- visa-related fees
- medical and travel insurance.
The first and second rounds of New Zealand Space Scholarships are part of a pilot exercise and an assessment will be made later in the year whether to continue them in the future.
The 2019 application process has now closed.
Subscribe to Space Agency updates to hear about future opportunities.