CSULB student fulfills dream as NASA intern

Student receives a summer internship that jump-starts her career

Anusha Prabhakar

Alexandra Rousso, Assistant City Editor

Cal State Long Beach aerospace engineering student Anusha Prabhakar recently won the second annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) summer internship program.

Prabhakar, a senior at CSULB, is already working at her internship and will spend eight to 10 weeks at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field in Edwards, Calif, assisting in several NASA experiments.

“Working for NASA has always been my dream and ultimate goal in advancing my aerospace career,” Prabhakar said in an e-mail. “And now that I have this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I hope to learn as much as I can, and this internship in turn will enable me to better understand what I would like to pursue later on in my career.”

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to supporting students pursuing a global aerospace career. They partnered with NASA to develop the new generation of aeronautical engineers.

Neal Barlow, AIAA’s vice president-elect and chair of its student activities committee, said in a press release, “NASA’s internship program will provide her with an engineering experience that only it can provide. We are pleased to be partnered with NASA and their continued efforts in developing the next generation of aerospace engineers.”

Prabhakar is the chair of AIAA at CSULB and served as the chair for the 2009 Region VI Student Conference, which was held in Long Beach.

“These positions involved considerable organizing and leading a group of students to host the annual regional aerospace conference at our university,” Prabhakar said. “CALVEIN encouraged working in a team environment, and learning as much as possible not only by observing fellow students and professors work, but also helped in gaining actual hands-on experience.”

The event was very successful and Eric Besnard, a professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at CSULB, said in a press release, “Anusha is the type of student who will make a great manager in industry. That was apparent in her role in the AIAA student chapter and especially as the main person behind the success of the AIAA Region VI Student Conference hosted at CSULB this year.”

Prabhakar previously had an internship with The Boeing Company, where she worked on detailed drafting assignments on the center wing section of the 747B and was also a part of the C-17 Stress Analysis Group.

Prabhakar is also a part of CSULB’s California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative. She went through the procedure of developing, testing and launching low-cost, liquid-propelled rockets.

Pabhakar plans on graduating with a degree in aerospace engineering in spring 2010.

 

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