Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

School of Engineering and Technology Student Named Intern of the Year by Engineering Educators Group

March 18, 2014

Steven Zusack, Mechanical Engineering student, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI

Steven Zusack, Mechanical Engineering student, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI

Steven Zusack, a School of Engineering and Technology student at IUPUI, has been selected by the largest group of engineering educators in the world as its intern of the year. The award recognizes Zusack’s leadership abilities, professional experiences and commitment to his engineering goals.

Zusack, who expects to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, received a $500 cash award and a recognition plaque from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Since June 2013, Zusack has completed two internships, one at the German Aerospace Center in Germany and the other at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Previously, he was a member of a design team and a lead payload designer for the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Balloon Launch.

Earlier this year, Zusack was awarded the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers Scholarship for leadership and scholastic achievements. Last year he earned two awards for leadership on campus and high academic standing: the Chia Yee Ang and Mark E. Hemphill Outstanding Leader and Scholar Award as well as the International Experience Scholarship.  He also has been inducted into the International Mechanical Engineering Honors Society, Pi Tau Sigma.

His work excelled at the NASA research center, where D. Laurence Thomsen, a research materials engineer, said, “I have mentored over a dozen undergraduate and graduate students over my last 10 years here, and he has excelled above all other students in pursuing independent research work associated with adhesion of metal films.”

“Steve’s research efforts are anticipated to produce a peer review journal article and the opportunity to present these findings at a societal conference next year. His research effort stands out from his peers because of the maturity of his laboratory notebook technical writing, his rigorous literature reviews, his methodical experimental preparations and innovative problem solving,” Thomsen said.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Zusack plans to earn an advanced degree in aerospace engineering, enabling him to pursue his plans for a career in the aerospace engineering industry.

“As a professional, I hope to go into the aerospace field to help design the next generation of spacecraft,” Zusack said. “It is my belief that space travel needs to become more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Much of the future of business, growth and expansion as a race and peace between countries will stem from the exploration and development of space.”