In 2011, MIT Mechanical Engineering students went through MISTI to design a control system for a YF03 robot at Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan; research the potential of shale gas as an energy source at Iberdrola in Spain; conduct experimental investigations of rheological substances at RWTH Aachen University in Germany; and develop engineering projects to improve life in impoverished communities at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico (to name a select few). In fact, a total of 80 MechE students went overseas last summer to expand their skills in foreign companies, universities and labs.
MIT-Italy Program 2008, 2009 & 2011
Internship: ENEL, Pisa
This experience connected me to relatives in Italy and formed long-lasting friendships. I hope to travel often to Italy and perhaps return for an extended period of work. I have continued in the energy sector as a MITEI and NSF doctoral fellow researching durable nanoengineered surfaces for improved power-plant efficiency.
The project: I designed a hybrid solar-geothermal power plant for the western U.S.; this project led to a future publication at the World Geothermal Congress, 2010.
The host: Enel is the largest power company in Italy and second largest in Europe. It operates around the world and has invested heavily in renewable energy.
The city: Pisa is small like Boston but has the similar feeling of a college town. The main attraction is the Leaning Tower. The residents are warm and friendly, and the food is delicious!
Class of 2013
MIT-France Program 2011
Internship: Électricté de France, Clamart
While I probably wont return to the same campus, EDF’s enormous network helped me find other promising projects. Working abroad has certainly opened the rest of the world for future employment. The French 3 year Ph.D thesis/internship program is also a strong candidate for higher education and experience.
The project: Designing a Steam Generator test bench using mechanical and vibrational knowledge from MIT, eventually leading to a better SG understanding and life expectancy.
The host: Largest energy company in the world, mainly using nuclear power plants. It is unique to be involved in something as important, guarded, and rare in the US as a nuclear power plant.
The city: Clamart is all business, but adjacent Paris is anything but. Like New York, there is always something to see and do. From Paris, the TGV can also take you to the rest of France in 2-3 hours.
MIT-Italy Program 2011
Internship: ENEL, Pisa
Before I did MISTI, I saw the rest of the world simply as a place to travel to on vacation. Now I see Italy as a place where I could potentially live and work. I plan to keep learning to speak the Italian language and cook Italian food.
The project: I researched and analyzed the current state of the art in wind turbine technologies to provide a basis for evaluating future turbine acquisitions. This involved traveling around Italy visiting wind farms and meeting with turbine manufacturers.
The host: ENEL is the main power producer in Italy, I worked for the green power division that is installing renewable energy sources all over the country.
The city: Pisa is an amazing place to live, it is rather small but incredibly beautiful. It is inexpensive and has a good sized airport if you want to travel on the weekends.