Inspiring the Future Aerospace Workforce: Reflections from Redwire’s 2020 Interns

Redwire’s mission to build the next generation of space infrastructure is powered by a diverse team that works together to solve problems and deliver innovative capabilities.

To further that mission, Redwire is investing in the next generation of the aerospace workforce through partnerships with colleges and universities, sponsoring student-led professional organizations, and providing hands-on experience through the Redwire internship program. Redwire interns work on a wide range of projects, from engineering to marketing and business development. They work closely with project managers and company leadership for mentorship and guidance.

The most recent internship class had the opportunity to work for Redwire subsidiaries across a range of specialties while learning from leading experts in the aerospace industry. Although this year was a bit different due to COVID-19, the Redwire internship program was still active and  our interns played a key role in company growth and development.

Gaining Invaluable Experience and Making Lifelong Connections

Tanya Mittal is earning her Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from North Carolina State University. Tanya, a Brooke Owens Fellowship Internship Program recipient, worked with the Payloads department at Redwire subsidiary Made In Space (MIS), where she was able to work on cutting-edge technologies.

Tanya Mittal, a Brooke Owens Fellowship Internship Program recipient, worked with the Payloads department at Redwire subsidiary Made In Space in 2020.  

“The Brooke Owens Fellowship matched my interests with the interests of Made In Space. I like that Made In Space has a long-term goal and investment in procurement and production of technology in space and has a vision for the future that has unlimited potential.”

One of Tanya’s internship highlights was getting to learn about a wide range of topics, from welding and air filtration to glass production and microgravity payload design. Tanya’s favorite part of the internship? Getting to know the rest of the MIS class of interns: “We created a really close bond during our time together, as some of the only folks left in the office during these trying times, and learned a lot from each other despite being six feet apart.”

Jonathan Hefley, a returning intern from the University of Miami, where he is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, worked on research and development with Redwire Chief Technology Officer Michael Snyder. For Jonathan, the work at Redwire covers his interest in manufacturing technologies, specifically additive manufacturing, and space.

“A highlight of my experience was traveling to the Space Coast to watch the Mars 2020 launch with my coworkers and fellow interns. I also enjoyed inviting our coworkers to intern [gatherings] where specific topics were discussed in depth, such as design for additive manufacturing, designing payloads for the ISS, and business development.”

His internship experience also enriched his extracurricular work. Jonathan was able to take the systems engineering approach he learned during his internship and use it in the University of Miami NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge and his senior design project.

While interning at Redwire subsidiary Deep Space Systems (DSS), Colton Williams worked on cameras for NASA’s Orion Project. Through his internship, Colton gained hands-on experience across a range of areas, including additive and subtractive manufacturing and laser engraving.

Colton Williams interned at Redwire subsidiary DSS, where he worked on NASA’s Orion Project.

While working at DSS, Colton was the structures lead of the Alabama Rocketry Association, where he was designing a single-stage rocket. His experience at DSS was integral to his role at the Alabama Rocketry Association: “[The internship] has helped me with school projects and rocketry club experience. Learning ways of manufacturing helped me manufacture rockets and prototypes,” said Colton.

Providing a Roadmap for Future Careers in Aerospace and Beyond 

Lauren Langster, a chemical and biomolecular engineering student at New York University (NYU), worked remotely as part of Redwire’s Business Development team. She helped update presentations and technology pages, ensuring critical materials were updated for proposals and conferences. One of the highlights from her experience was getting to attend the annual SmallSat Conference. Outside of her internship, Lauren is involved with NYU’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, serving as their Technical Excellence Chair. She is also an operations team member on NYU’s VIP Rogue Aerospace project and competed in a NASA rocket competition.

Lauren Langster interned at Redwire subsidiary MIS, where she worked with the company’s Business Development team.

Lauren’s internship helped clarify her future career path and prepare her for a job in the aerospace industry. While working at Redwire, Lauren realized she wanted to be in a business role for her future career. It also gave her the push she needed to join her university’s aerospace team.

Hannah Cowan was the Marketing and Communications intern this past summer at Redwire subsidiary MIS. She filmed technology b-roll in the labs and designed graphics for campaigns promoting a range of Redwire technology, including the recently launched Ceramic Manufacturing Module (CMM). She also created the graphics for the MIS 10 year anniversary.

“One of my favorite highlights was recently watching my first patch design launch into space. CMM was an awesome opportunity that Redwire gave me.” – Hannah Cowan, Redwire Intern

Hannah believes that her internship prepared her for her future career and exposed her to aerospace topics she did not know about previously: “This expanded my knowledge on so many things I would not have been exposed to if I was not given this opportunity. It has definitely complemented my previous experiences and prepared me for what’s to come.”

Like other interns, Hannah was able to extend her internship into a part-time remote internship position into the Fall semester. 

New Opportunities in 2021

As Redwire continues to grow, there will be expanded opportunities to intern across the company’s business units. Redwire is dedicated to providing an enriching, unique experience that enables interns with different backgrounds and experiences to develop skills, clarify career goals and inspire their extracurricular activities, and we are excited to welcome a new class of interns this summer.

Interested in becoming a Redwire intern? Check out the summer 2021 internship opportunities currently available: https://redwirespace.com/careers/