Student interns present future technologies at AFRL summer poster session

  • Published
  • By Jamie Leigh Cooper
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

Student interns from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate presented their research experiments to the public at the annual morning and afternoon poster sessions Aug. 4, 2022, in the cafetorium of building 653. 

A group of 57 student interns representing 30 universities conducted experiments within AFRL’s materials and manufacturing divisions during the past three months. Each student created a poster detailing the experiment they were challenged with along with analysis details and findings. The students presented these research posters to peers, AFRL leadership, visiting faculty from universities and potential Air Force employers.  

AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle attended the morning session and gave opening remarks, congratulating and thanking the students for their contributions to AFRL’s scientific progression. 

Chief Master Sgt. James Fitch, AFRL command chief, opened the poster session with a salute to the students’ research and a nod to Geek Fest, an AFRL event that celebrates scientific discoveries. He continued by reminding everyone that students’ work manufactures the innovative ideas and inventions that pave the way to new avenues of thought and design. 

The culminating poster session provided the students with the opportunity to engage in Q&A sessions with subject matter experts, explain technical experiments to public audiences and identify potential career opportunities. 

AFRL Chief Technology Officer Dr. Timothy Bunning gave opening remarks at the afternoon poster session by discussing his own student internship with AFRL.  

“The Air Force is looking for students like yourselves to grow from participating in this internship to being the future leadership of AFRL,” Bunning said. 

Asheley Blackford, student program manager, said the internship program gives students an idea of what AFRL is about, and the poster session sets a prime example of the range of opportunities open to future students. 

“The poster session is a great way for students to share their research across AFRL and amongst their peers,” Blackford said. “The talents they bring to the lab each summer shined throughout the poster session and showed how critical and important their research is to the entire Department of the Air Force.” 

Many attending military and leadership personnel expressed amazement at the students’ scientific knowledge of their project. 

Col. Anthony J. DeGregoria, deputy director of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, said he was impressed with the students’ knowledge and expertise of their experiments. 

“Ten different RX branches hosted multiple AFRL student programs … [and] opportunities abound for us to connect with the youngest and brightest minds in support of our nation’s defense,” DeGregoria said.  

AFRL internships are available to students at varying levels from high school to postgraduate work. To learn more about these internships, visit:  

About AFRL 

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: