TNCC Electrical Engineering Student Joins Jefferson Lab Team

Published: November 19, 2009

Discussions about such scientific terms as protons, neutrons and electrons come naturally for David Galinski. The Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) Electrical Engineering Technology student has a 3.9 grade point average in his area of study and was recently invited to join The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) team as a paid intern.

The Newport News facility is a hub for scientists who engage in basic and applied research. The primary area of research involves a study of the atom’s nucleus at the quark level. A quark is a fast-moving point of energy. Protons and neutrons are composed of two types: up quarks and down quarks. The technology developed at the lab is used to conduct Physics experiments. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Jefferson Lab garners support from the City of Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia and has strong relationships with industry and university partners.

Engineering Technologies are at the forefront of developing new technology for nanotechnology, biotechnology, environmental remediation, farming and food production, housing, transportation, safety, security, healthcare and water resources. As the global economy relies on technology, diverse expertise and experience will be keys to career sustainability. TNCC offers Engineering Technology courses that combine hands-on training, virtual environments, and professional training that are essential for success. Thomas Nelson has a guaranteed admission partnership with Old Dominion University that TNCC graduates to pursue advance degrees in Engineering Technology.

Galinski, the only TNCC student at the facility, was selected as an Electromechanical Student Intern after a recommendation from Electronics Technology Program Head Deborah Lichniak and an interview with Jefferson Lab officials. Currently, Galinski helps with the fabrication, maintenance and configuration of various devices, including power supply boxes. During the internship, he will also complete several certification training sessions that will allow him to move freely in other areas of the facility.

As a paid intern, Galinski earns an hourly wage to work about 20 hours each week. He will be permitted to continue his work at Jefferson Lab during the summer and after he completes his coursework at TNCC, pending his enrollment at a four-year institution in a related field.

Galinski hopes to graduate from TNCC May 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Technology with a specialization in Electrical Engineering Technology. He plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University and aspires to eventually gain full-time employment at Jefferson Lab. The opportunity to work as an intern definitely brings him closer to that goal.

Galinski has valuable advice for other TNCC students who want to find quality internship opportunities. “Get good grades and network with your faculty,” he said. “Ask professors and directors. They will help you find what you need.”

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