Four-Year Intern Makes a Difference with Antennas

November 2014
Daphne Gorman
Daphne Gorman

Daphne Gorman has worked on a wide range of projects for a variety of customers during her time at MITRE. She's now a graduate student intern who spent the summer of 2014 in her fourth stint at the corporation.

"Originally, MITRE sponsored my senior project at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and that led to an internship the following summer," she says.

Gorman, now a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has many different passions, which is evident in both her academics and her work at MITRE.

Making an Impact for the Department of Defense

Gorman, who works with MITRE's National Security Engineering Center, the federally funded research and development center MITRE operates for the Department of Defense, has found her internships to be both challenging and rewarding.

"My first summer, I worked on a satellite communications project for the U.S. Navy," she says. "My second time here, I supported several projects for the U.S. Air Force. During my third summer, I worked with several different customers including the Navy, Department of Homeland Security, and the Air Force."

During her most recent internship, she focused primarily on the modeling of aircraft antennas. "My work was to look at how multiple antennas interact with one another when they are integrated on to specific platforms. The proximity of multiple antennas can cause interference, so I researched how they're designed and performed simulations to improve the performance."

Gorman believes her efforts have made positive impacts on MITRE's customers. "Last summer, much of the work I did went out to the sponsor. My bosses told me about that when I returned. They said that they loved what I had done and wanted me to do more. It's a really good feeling to know that my work is helpful and well received."

Gaining Connections in an Inclusive Environment

Her department's collaborative, close-knit environment has made a big impression on her. "That's one of the main reasons I keep coming back," she says. "My department is pretty much located in one hallway. It's really convenient, and I can ask any of my coworkers for help if I need to."

Gorman also appreciates MITRE's overall corporate culture. "I like how people interact with each other. You can always find something to do both at work and outside of work. For example, if you're interested in working on a new project, they encourage you to do so. As far as social activities, I frequently join coworkers after work for some Frisbee or rock climbing, which I really enjoy."

Looking Ahead to a Future Career

Although her internship projects to date have primarily focused on antennas and radar systems, she also has a love for coding and computer science. "My graduate work is in computer architecture, which has a nice balance between hardware and software. I'm really passionate about both, so in the future, I'm hoping to be able to work on computer architecture here at MITRE, as well as continue my work with antennas."

"I would definitely consider working here after graduating. I've been here for four summers and each internship has been great experience."

—by Victoria Lynn

(Editor's note: Victoria Lynn wrote this story while an intern in MITRE's Corporate Communications & Public Affairs division during summer 2014.)