The Summer Product Realization Institute for Nuclear Weapons (NW SPRINT) is a design program focused on increasing agility and facilitating the development of novel concepts and ideas on a compressed schedule. Over the course of the summer, each design team will successfully design, fabricate, and test a functional device. Each year’s design challenge is relevant to Sandia National Laboratories’ core mission and offers opportunities for student interns to partner with technical staff mentors, researchers from across the laboratory, and other student interns.

The NW SPRINT program focuses on using advanced manufacturing technologies to innovate and revolutionize the products that Sandia National Laboratories delivers. NW SPRINT interns are placed into collaborative teams with a staff mentor. Separate teams from across the lab compete in the SPRINT challenge to develop the best design. The NW SPRINT program focuses on using advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing or 3D printing, to achieve higher performing design and to push the limits on technical capabilities.

NW SPRINT actively recruits undergraduate and graduate school students with the following majors: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, material science, and other relevant disciplines. Promising designs or technologies developed within NW SPRINT are also considered for future sounding rocket experiments.

What You Gain:

NW SPRINT interns will gain skills in the following areas:
  • Exposure to Cradle to Grave product management

  • Experience in design, analysis, fabrication, and testing

  • Hands on experience with staff mentors

  • Learn to work in a multi-disciplinary team with other students from across the United States

  • Ability to review requirements, assess priority, and manage time

  • Plan for testing requirements

  • Learn to assess and address vulnerabilities and understand system level design consequences

Project Types:

Potential projects available for NW SPRINT interns include the following:

New Discriminator Technologies
This project focuses on the application of emerging technologies for the fabrication of advanced mechanical discriminator systems. Each discriminator is required to meet an initial set of requirements; within that scope teams are free to explore and design. Over the summer program, small teams compete to develop the strongest design for final judge evaluation.

Advanced Rocket Launch Sensing Mechanism
The advanced rocket launch sensing project focused on the development of new mechanical devices to sense rocket acceleration and launch profiles. Teams are given a set of requirements, and through the course of the summer, the teams are required to design and build a launch sensing mechanism. Prior to the final judging the devices, each mechanism is placed on a centrifuge to mimic the rocket acceleration profile.

Application Procedure:

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

Detailed instructions for using Sandia’s Career tool to apply for a position are also available.