Internship fuels student’s passion for engineering

Jun 25, 2020
Alan Longfellow

Alan Longfellow is completing an internship this summer with Dr. Sesha Srinivasan, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Florida Polytechnic University, and Global Clean Diesel.

Senior Alan Longfellow is spending the summer gaining valuable real-world research experience that will help fuel his aerospace dreams.

Longfellow, who is majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in advanced topics, is completing a summer internship with Dr. Sesha Srinivasan, chair of Florida Polytechnic University’s Department of Natural Sciences, in collaboration with Global Clean Diesel, which is based in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

“I am using Florida Poly’s supercomputer to design and run computational fluid dynamics simulations to increase the efficiency of diesel engines and lower their emissions and operating costs,” Longfellow said.

He said the work is giving him a clear window into future career possibilities.

“I’m learning so much already about what working in research is like and I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity,” said Longfellow, who is from Temple Terrace, Florida.

He said the internship is allowing him to put his classroom-based knowledge into practice.

“I hope to gain further knowledge of engineering procedures and computational fluid dynamics techniques, as well as the opportunity to network with companies along the way,” Longfellow said.

When Longfellow is not working, he is continuing his personal pursuit of a solution to the Navier-Stokes continuity and smoothness problem, one of the most difficult problems in mathematics whose solution comes with a $1 million prize from the prestigious Clay Mathematics Institute.

Longfellow said Florida Poly’s small, tight-knit campus has given him access to a supportive group of professors and peers who have helped him advance both his personal and professional goals. Longfellow said when coupled with a challenging curriculum, the University provided the best possible environment for him to achieve success.

“The faculty and staff at Florida Poly have been wonderful,” the Vanguard School of Lake Wales graduate said. “They genuinely care about the goals and ambitions of their students and are willing to assist us in attaining them.”

After graduation from Florida Poly, Longfellow hopes to begin a career in aerospace.

“My family and I have always joked that when we go on vacation, I enjoy the plane trip more than our destination,” he said. “Working as an aerodynamicist or materials engineer at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gruman, or SpaceX would be a huge honor.”

Longfellow said he eventually would like to earn an advanced degree and become a professor of thermofluids.

If you’d like to share your summer internship story, please contact Erica Johnson.


Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications