Summer Research Opportunities

Company: Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering Department / Labs
Posted: May 14, 2018

Cal Poly projects looking for engineering talent over summer! Ideally suited to anyone that will be around SLO for half or all of summer and interested in engaging with exciting, creative, fast-moving projects that involve unique zero emission designs for road vehicles, aircraft, submarines, and…erm… space robots.

Read below for details and contact Dr. Graham Doig if you’re interested!

No experience necessary: you’ll be paired up with others where you can learn quickly – excellent chance for freshman or sophomores in particular. However, the main requirement is a motivation to make some time to show up and do stuff! Could be making composite parts, designing a user interface simulating performance, making part of an electrical system, flight testing, coding battery management software, streamlining a shape for maximum efficiency, connecting with potential sponsors, implementing systems engineering processes – there’s something to choose from for whatever interests you.


1) Several students from PROVE Lab are going to be around over summer working on “Project 2”, which is in concept design phase as an ultra-long-range electric car (“the cure for range anxiety”). This is the follow-up to the solar car, and is aimed at breaking multiple endurance world records. Totally unique project for anyone interested in pretty much anything to do with electric vehicle design using innovative approaches.

2) TURTAL (The Underwater Racing Team: Animal Locomotion) are building a human powered submarine that swims like a fish, to break an underwater speed record. Would be great for anyone interested in materials, mechanical design, controls, mechatronics, hydrodynamics, and biomimicry in general. Relatively small team heavily geared towards rapid prototyping.

A couple of other associated projects may require 1 or 2 people with more specific skills/interests.

3) A solar-powered aircraft “Mobius”, which has been rapidly iterated over the last 9 months and should be flying full-day missions over summer. Opportunity for those who want to work on solar-electric systems, software/hardware for autonomous flight, or composite manufacture.

4) Space Robot - a commission from NASA JPL to do some concept design work on how a rover for Venus will get around on the planet with minimal-to-no electronics, and only wind power as a source of energy. At this stage needs mechanical/mechatronic input, and can probably benefit from a materials major and anyone at all with an interest in how to biomimic unusual means of movement for exploring another planet.