Sandia internship program gives students national security training

Sandia National Laboratories recently developed an internship program that gives college-level students real-world experience in national security applications, including the development of software that detects nuclear weapon detonations.

Launched in 2012, the Technical Internships to Advance National Security program is designed to offer practical national security experience to the next generation of specialists. TITANS works with the Center for Analysis Systems and Applications, the Center for Cyber Defenders and the Monitoring Systems and Technology Intern Center to train college students.

"We created TITANS to take our internship experience to the next level," MSTIC Manager Marcus Chang said. "We put a lot of effort into making it as fulfilling, interesting and fun as possible."

Each intern works with all three of the institutions throughout the program, which gives them exposure to a range of technical fields that involve computer science as well as electrical and mechanical engineering related to national security.

Sandia hired approximately 12 interns from the TITANS program since its inception.

"The interns are exposed to what it is like to work at Sandia and what the national security challenges are facing the nation," Chang said. "It allows them to understand why Sandia is such a unique place to work. The work is complex and meaningful."

CASA's "seismic event monitoring pipeline" is one project the interns are working on right now. Interns are developing a new software framework to analyze raw data transmitted to its headquarters from around the world to determine the associations and locations of nuclear detonations.

The project supports Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty monitoring efforts.