A MSTIC intern positions a biconical antenna for a radiated-emissions test.
A MSTIC intern positions a biconical antenna for a radiated-emissions test.

When offered


Who can apply

Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in computer science, optical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, systems engineering, materials science, physics, mathematics, geophysics, seismology, or a related field of study


Sandia/New Mexico


The Monitoring Systems and Technology Intern Center (MSTIC) is a student internship program focused on developing the next generation of experts in national security systems — space missions, treaty verification, nuclear nonproliferation, cooperative monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Working side-by-side with experienced research staff mentors, interns are encouraged to explore leading-edge technologies as they devise original, full-system solutions for real-world problems in national security.

MSTIC promotes collaboration, creativity, and mentorship by emphasizing teamwork, innovative thinking, and strong project leadership. In addition, the program provides a continuous learning environment through on-site training, technical seminars, and tours of current defense systems.

Designed for students interested in remote sensing, space-based systems, sensor technology, and high-consequence systems, MSTIC offers high-impact opportunities in the fields of computer, electrical, mechanical, optical, and systems engineering. MSTIC determines the best fit for each intern by taking into account individual skills and interests.

MSTIC interns are part of a Sandia program, Technical Internships to Advance National Security (TITANS), which offers students valuable cross-exposure to projects in two other TITANS tracks sponsored by the Center for Analysis Systems and Applications and the Center for Cyber Defenders.

Examples of MSTIC projects in specific fields include the following:

  • Computer engineering
    • Develop simulation hardware and software
    • Develop interactive space payload graphical user interfaces
    • Support ground segment systems
  • Electrical engineering
    • Monitor underground sensors and high-resolution digitizers
    • Develop MATLAB analysis programs
  • Mechanical engineering
    • Improve new product designs through highly accelerated life testing
  • Optical engineering
    • Design, analyze, and test components for optical remote-sensing systems
    • Conduct tolerancing and error budget development
    • Model synthetic scene simulations and system performance
  • Systems engineering
    • Develop new product conceptual designs
    • Mange and resolve identified risks
    • Ensure and verify the integrity of the program configuration baseline

Desired skills and experience for MSTIC projects include the following:

  • Computer engineering
    • UNIX shell scripting (including Perl)
    • UNIX operating system
    • C or C++ programming languages
    • Network architecture (e.g., TCP/IP and router configurations)
  • Electrical engineering
    • MATLAB
    • Statistics
    • Parallel processing
  • Mechanical engineering
    • Finite element analysis 
    • Solid modeling
  • Optical engineering
    • Zemax, CODE V, or similar packages
    • Interferometry
    • Image processing
    • Hyperspectral image analysis
    • MATLAB
    • Radiometry

Application procedure

  1. Use Sandia's Careers tool to create a username and password.
  2. Enter "MSTIC" into the Keywords text field, and click Search.
  3. Browse the list of MSTIC intern openings.
  4. Complete an online application for a specific intern opening.

Detailed instructions for using Sandia's Careers tool to apply for a position are also available.