University Transportation Center (UTC) Undergraduate Internship (UI)
Transportation at the Cockrell School of Engineering
If transportation interests you, the UTC-UI can help prepare you for admission to one of the highest ranked graduate programs in the nation. (UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering is ranked #10, the Department of Civil Engineering is ranked #3, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is ranked #10.) The internship is an 11-week program that provides unique insight into transportation education and prepares interns for a possible career in the field.
UTC-UI is jointly sponsored by two Tier 1 US Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers: the Center for Highway Pavement Preservation (CHPP) and the Data-Supported Transportation Operations and Planning (D-STOP) Center. The USDOT funds this internship for the purpose of increasing the quality, number, and diversity of professionals entering the transportation sector. The program will offer up to ten selected undergraduate students the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in conducting highway and transportation studies and actively participate in transportation research with graduate students under the supervision of transportation faculty members. Drs. Jorge Prozzi and Stephen Boyles are the internship coordinators for the CHPP and D-STOP centers, respectively.
All UTC-UI interns will be enrolled in a colloquium series designed to introduce them to different aspects of the transportation field. Over the 11 weeks there will be weekly lectures on a wide range of topics on transportation given by distinguished academics and practicing engineers. Lectures are intended to be informal so as to encourage discussion. Students participating in the internship will be exposed to active research projects.
The Center for Highway Pavement Preservation is aimed at providing a new platform for accelerating innovation in highway pavement preservation because, as recognized by the US Congress, we need to protect the massive national highway infrastructure investment. The Center is a partnership between Michigan State University, UT Austin, The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the University of Minnesota, the University of Hawaii, and North Carolina A&T University.
UT Austin’s D-STOP center is a collaboration between the transportation group in the Department of Civil Engineering and the wireless networking and communications group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and is aimed at developing and exploring applications of new sensing technologies to improve transportation planning and operations, including innovative traffic control and connected/automated vehicles.
Interns who are not current UT students will each receive a fellowship stipend of $4,500 over the 11-week period. UT student interns will each receive a fellowship stipend of $3,500.
This 11-week program begins Tuesday, May 30, 2017 and ends Friday, August 11, 2017, and is intended to be a demanding as well as rewarding experience. Interns will be assigned to one or possibly two ongoing transportation engineering research projects and are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week on that project. However, students tend to devote a great deal more than the required minimum hours per week on their projects. Weekends and evenings are not officially scheduled with activities, although interns in previous years have spent this time with fellow interns and graduate students.
Before experiencing this program, I had no idea the kind of opportunities and amazing research that the University of Texas was doing, but I’m glad I found out because this program has been the most impactful and meaningful asset to my college career. It exposed me to the wonderful world of transportation and showed me that there is much more to the undergraduate experience. I loved the research I was doing so much that I’m continuing and planning to continue doing it throughout my undergraduate career and hopefully in graduate school!
—Rahul Patel, 2015 participant
Austin is a unique mix of urban sophistication and relaxed charm. Geographically, Austin is in the center of the Texas Hill Country. It contains a network of rivers, lakes, and natural coldwater springs. It also prides itself on an extensive green belt with endless hike and bike trails that afford any number of outdoor activities. Austin is the “live music capitol of the world” and contains a rich variety of live music, nightclubs, and restaurants. Home to three universities, Austin offers a great deal in the way of cultural events, lectures, films, sports events and museum exhibits. UT Austin’s campus alone is an incredible experience and contains an impressive selection of facilities ranging from the renowned Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs Library to the state-of-the-art Recreational Sports Center.
Participants are encouraged to use the room and board plans provided by UT Austin. UT summer housing info is available online; alternately, you can contact the Housing and Food Service Office directly at (512) 471-3136. This office also maintains information on nearby off-campus housing should applicants prefer to house themselves.
Admission Eligibility/Selection Criteria
The internship is open to any currently enrolled college engineering junior or senior seriously considering a graduate education in transportation. Students graduating before December 2017 are ineligible. The internship accepts students who have the desire and ability to work on transportation research projects and demonstrated computer, math, and writing skills. The UTC-UI participants selected will be notified of their acceptance no later than Monday, April 17, 2017. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for fellowships; other students in the U.S. are welcome to apply if they do not require financial support.
The deadline for application to the program is Monday, April 10, 2017. To apply, complete the application form and submit it with a resume, a personal (one-page) essay describing your interests and career goals, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters and official transcripts can be mailed directly to either of the two addresses provided on the application form:
Jorge A. Prozzi
Internship Coordinator, CHPP Center
The University of Texas at Austin
301 E. Dean Keeton St. C1761
Austin, Texas 78712-0278
Telephone: (512) 471-4771
Stephen D. Boyles
Internship Coordinator, D-STOP Center
The University of Texas at Austin
301 E. Dean Keeton St. C1761
Austin, Texas 78712-1172
Telephone: (512) 471-3548