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Renaissance Internship Program completes successful first year
Renaissance Internship Program completes successful first yearMay 25, 2001Jonathan Hayjhay@syr.edu
An innovative university-industry partnership is strengthening the engineering workforce in Central New York and across the state. The Renaissance Internship Program completed its first year recently as 13 students from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) at Syracuse University spent a year gaining hands-on experience at local companies. The graduate student interns were placed at seven different companies in four technology clusters: environmental systems, biomedical systems, electronics technologies, manufacturing and software engineering. Each student worked 20 hours per week at the company during the academic year–30 hours per week during the summer–and maintained a full-time academic schedule. They received a premium monthly stipend, a full tuition scholarship and the experience of working on leading-edge technology. The New York state government funded about two-thirds of the program cost, with the sponsoring companies paying the remaining one-third. “The Renaissance Internship Program is providing a means for immediately addressing the shortage of engineers at numerous firms in Central New York,” says ECS Dean Edward A. Bogucz. “The program also strengthens efforts in recruiting and retention of engineering professionals for permanent positions across the state. The support of Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli has been a key factor in the creation and continued success of the program.” An invitation-only luncheon celebrating the first year of the program, and acknowledging Assemblyman Magnarelli’s contributions to its success, will be held at noon June 1 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center. The luncheon is open to the media. ECS has 13 years of experience with value-added, graduate internship partnerships, including stand-alone programs with New Venture Gear and Anaren Microwave. The majority of the more than 60 students who participated in the internship partnerships have accepted full-time positions with New York state technology companies. The companies involved in the first year of the Renaissance program are Welch Allyn, Anaren Microwave, Phillips Broadband Networks, PPC Inc., Carrier Corp., New Venture Gear and Sonnet Software.
Ecrument Arvas, ECS professor of electrical and computer engineering and the director of the Renaissance program, says the program has been well-received. “The students are really enjoying the experience, and the companies are getting a lot from having them,” Arvas says. “I have received feedback about students having a major impact on new product development, improving existing design performance and manufacturing yield, and using their mathematical modeling skills to enable determination of the limits and reliability of data.” Arvas says the interaction between students and employees at the placement sites, coupled with the supervision of ECS faculty members, will produce students who will leave the program with a master’s or doctoral degree ready to make major contributions in the region immediately. ECS is seeking funding for a second year of the program that will be enhanced with several elements focused on recruiting and retention of engineering professionals.