Students Gain Real World Experience as CAR Summer Interns

Posted: August 6, 2023

If you’re at the Center of Automotive Research (CAR) this summer, you’ll likely notice some new faces. More than 20 high school and college students are joining us and gaining hands on experience with research projects while working with our researchers, faculty and graduate students.

Here is what a few of our interns had to say about their experience.

male student sitting at desk building a robot
Alex Schuler

Mechanical Engineering undergrad Alex Schuler is working with Assistant Professor Stephanie Stockar and PhD student Mithun Goutham on an autonomous robotics and manufacturing project. He is building a scale model of an autonomous vehicle manufacturing plant and small robots that take car and vehicle chassis around the factory to get assembled.

Schuler says he really enjoys the hands-on aspect of the project. “I like that I actually have a thing to work on, not just the computer. And I like that there's a lot of creative space with it. It’s a very open project.”

Demi Huang
Demi Huang

Demi Huang is working with Senior Research Associate Athar Hanif to find out what strategies the industry applies to projects related to ADS vehicle safety. She spends her days researching the various strategies being used and if they are beneficial to the automotive industry.

Originally from Taiwan, Huang, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering says one benefit of the program is getting to practice both reading and speaking English on technical and engineering-related topics. “It’s a great feeling to read something in English and know that I understood what I read. It’s a confidence booster!”

female in purple sweater
Nurah Baseer

Chemical Engineering student, Nurah Baseer is working with Assistant Professor Matilde D’Arpino on the Ohio State Energy Advancement and Innovation Center (OSU EAIC) project related to the assessment of the impact of battery energy storage for the EAIC building. The building will be a house of solar panels and battery storage can increase flexibility and reliability of the power system. The overarching goal of the project is to assess the challenges and opportunities of storage at EAIC, including standard and regulation requirements.

“My favorite part of my internship is the opportunity to learn about different concepts and technologies in a field that I haven't really studied before. Since I started, I have learned so much about battery chemistries, electrical engineering and more,” said Baseer.

male student adding sensors to a wheelchair
Sean Miller

Sean Miller, a mechanical engineering student is spending his summer working with Assistant Professor Anand Mhatre in the Rehabilitation Engineering Design Lab (RED).  Miller is working on a wheelchair technology developed by Mhatre called WheelTrack which puts sensors on wheelchairs to detect breaks or problems before they occur.

“The wheelchair industry doesn’t have a lot of regulations, so when something breaks, people are stuck until the problem is fixed. This technology will predict problems and connect the user to the supplier or insurance provider,” said Miller.

One of Miller’s favorite parts of his internship is the hands-on aspect of the project.  He’s spent much of his time building various sensors for wheelchair brakes in CAD and 3D printing and testing them.  

man in glasses working at a computer
Yichu Liu

Yichu Liu, a second year MS student in electrical engineering is working with Professor Marcello Canova in CAR’s Battery Lab assisting in the creation of experimental testing procedures for lithium-ion batteries. Liu’s role in the project is to convert a MATLAB script into python version for reinforcement learning for better library support in the future and faster training time. He is also comparing two lithium battery models, a more precise model that takes a long time to run and a simplified quicker model, to determine which one should be used for the project.

Liu says that he really enjoys the flexibility of the internship as well as the team he gets to work with. “All of the team members in the Battery Lab are very friendly. I really enjoy working with them on this interesting project, and I love exploring new ideas that could be beneficial to the progress.” said Liu.