Student Spotlight: Internship with the Army Research Lab

Blake Anderson is a first year Masters student in Aerospace engineering and had the opportunity to work at the Army Research Lab for the Autonomous Systems Division in Aberdeen, Maryland. He was selected as one of the top 8 undergraduate student interns among the six directorates of the Army Research Lab.  Blake was recognized with other selected graduate and undergraduate students working as intern at ARL from all over the country.

Blake explained how it was his second summer to work for the ARL and was an extremely valuable opportunity to work with experienced researchers on cutting edge projects. The experienced arrose directly from a collaboration with Dr. L’Afflitto’s lab at OU, where they worked together on designing advanced autopilots for small flying vehicles. Dr. L’Afflitto said “with his exceptional work, he has brought a relevant contribution to my research partners at ARL, my lab, and AME in general”. During his internship, the ARL let Blake sit in on meetings, provided travel assitance to attend conferences, and even provided tours to see other research work at ARL. Blake says “It was a great experience to see how a national lab operates, and I highly recommend any student interested in research to apply for similar internships.”

Blake works at the Advanced Control Systems Lab (ACSL) at OU, which is part of a big collaboration with the Army Research Lab and several other universities called the Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA). This summer, he attended a huge conference in Philadelphia where research by leading universities such as MIT and CalTech was presented. Blake said it was awesome to see OU on the same stage as these groups.

He wants to pursue applied research when he graduates. Working alongside experienced researches at a top national lab has given him the experience and motavation to keep pursuing his goal. ARL taught him how to work on challenging and innovative projects while collaborating with people from other groups who had differenet background and skill sets.


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