NC Space Grant/LORD Corporation Summer Internship Program 2012
Applications due Friday, March 23, 2012

The NC Space Grant has partnered with LORD Corporation to establish a summer internship program to give students real-world experiences in a cutting-edge industrial setting.

LORD Corporation is a worldwide leader in adhesives and coatings, vibration and motion control, and magnetically responsive technologies. Operating from world headquarters in Cary, NC, LORD Corporation has 17 manufacturing facilities in nine countries and 90 strategically located sales and support centers worldwide.

The NC Space Grant/LORD Corporation Summer Internship Program will provide support for up to 7 undergraduate or graduate students (pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines) to participate in a 10-week internship at LORD Corporationís world headquarters campus in Cary.


Selected students will be assigned to a research project that best fits their educational experience. Each project will offer the student the opportunity to engage in hands-on research under the supervision of a professional mentor. Potential NC Space Grant/LORD Corporation Summer Internship Program projects are described below:

  1. Materials Resin Technology Bonding of Advanced Materials: Advanced carbon fiber reinforced composites and light weight metals offer high strength, high stiffness and reduced weight. These materials are used extensively on aircraft and high-end sporting goods with potential to move into next generation automobile and renewable energy devices. However many of these material are difficult to adhesively bond. This project will support the development of next generation structural adhesives for bonding advanced materials. The candidate will assist scientists to identify and benchmark adhesive that works best for current advanced materials, understand the chemistry that meets requirement for bonding advanced materials, and develop prototype next generation bonding adhesives. The goal of this project is to develop innovative materials that will improve adhesion to substrates that have historically been difficult to bond.
  2. Advanced Electronic Adhesives for Semiconductors: This position would be in exploring new polymeric materials for adhesives. These specialty materials are made through chain and addition polymerization techniques (wet chemicals). The materials are great opportunity to explore how to apply and create new chemical technologies in the field of microelectronics. Studies will include synthesis, characterization, and formulation into prototype formulations. The position is for an interested and motivated organic or polymer chemist student.
  3. Helicopter Vibration Seat Demonstration System: LORD has commercialized active vibration control systems in helicopters to make the traditional helicopter feel more like riding in a luxury car. The purpose of this project is to develop a seat demonstration that emulates the helicopter vibration under various aircraft conditions both with and without active vibration control. Using this, Lord can demonstrate the feel of the system to our potential customers. The student will work with actuators, electronics, test equipment, develop (matlab) software and mechanical integration aspects to make the demonstration effective. The student will work under the guidance of a Lord Electromechanical engineer (The Student must be reasonably proficient with Matlab, be familiar with working with test equipment and comfortable working in a lab environment, and have a strong interest in Dynamics, Vibration and Control).
  4. Software Development/Verification Assignment: For this assignment, the engineering intern will provide technical assistance to a the Software Development Engineering team working on advanced Active Vibration Control Systems for Rotary Wing aircraft. While assisting Software Engineers during various phases of product development, the candidate will develop both "hard" (technical) and "soft" (communication, teamwork, etc.) skills. Intern assignments include a variety of tasks associated with Systems Requirements, Design, Code & Unit test, Integration, Validation and Verification. Although not typical, other tasks could include those pertaining to hardware integration, system test, test equipment development, or the mechanical aspects of product design. The interns will typically work individually and/or with their peers, in an office and/or lab environment. The products developed are currently seeking DO-178C software certification with Design Assurance Levels (DAL) of A and C. Understanding the mechanical, electrical and software design as it pertains to the FAA/EASA certification is invaluable knowledge that the candidate would obtain.
  5. Aerospace Active Vibration Control Systems: LORD is the leader in the area of active vibration control systems for aircraft. We wish to maintain our leadership position in this area through targeted R&D programs. The successful candidate will participate in such a program. Activities may entail component or system testing, test rig development, algorithm development and tuning and flight test preparation.
  6. Sensor Systems: LORD is conducting R&D programs in various sensing applications used in demanding aerospace applications. The successful candidate will participate in such a program. Activities may entail component or system testing, test rig development, design, simulation and development of signal processing and calibration algorithms.
  7. Alternate Reaction Process: Chemical A is produced as an intermediate of a key material used in the manufacture of LORD adhesives. Chemical A is currently manufactured using a batch process in which raw materials are fed into the reactor at varying rates, the materials react under controlled conditions, the resulting mixture is pumped out of the reactor vessel for product separation, and the process is repeated many times. Due to increased volumes, a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) process is being developed to improve throughput and capacity for the manufacture of Chemical A. The proposed intern will actively participate in defining, executing and analyzing optimization studies for the CSTR process. Heat (generated by the exothermic reaction) removal requirements (and limitations) on the commercial scale will be calculated based on data collected on the laboratory and pilot scale. Optimized reaction conditions will be determined using experimental design techniques and statistical analyses. Reaction kinetic studies are to be used to better understand the chemical reaction itself. Specific assignments will be determined by the progression of the project during 2012. Attention to safety is of primary importance as the materials used are corrosive and toxic.
  8. Syntheses of Monomers and Precursors: LORD in interested in exploring several synthetic pathways to an important monomer used for rubber-to-metal adhesives. The project will focus on the laboratory syntheses of a variety of monomer precursors, as well as the desired monomer, on the 1-liter scale. Continuous processing methods will be employed, using computer controls, to help identify the most promising production process. In addition to the hands-on preparations, the project will include chemical analysis via gas chromatography and spectral methods.
  9. Acrylic Adhesion Promoter: A new class of adhesion promoter was recently invented at Lord Corporation for acrylic structural adhesives. Formulation and testing evaluations need to continue to prove the full value of this technology. The work will also involve synthesis of the adhesion promoter including with some variation on reaction parameters. The work will require a chemistry major with skills in organic synthesis. Time permitting; some exploratory extension of the technology will be made to application areas other than the field currently identified. This extension will also heavily involve synthetic organic chemistry.
  10. Novel Structural Adhesive Composition: This project will involve the exploration of novel compositions for free-radically cured structural adhesives for use in metal to metal bonding of automotive structures. The work will involve considerable organic synthesis, polymer chemistry and characterization as well as testing and evaluation of bonded substrates utilizing model structural adhesives. A chemistry, chemical engineering or material science major with good (or willing to learn) synthetic chemistry skills will be working in conjunction with a senior staff member.
  11. Conductive Polymeric Materials for Aerospace Coatings: This summer internship would help advance the LORD UltraConductive research and development team by formulating, testing and applying polymeric materials. These innovative UltraConductive materials show dramatically improved electrical and thermal conductivity compared to conventional materials. This would be a great opportunity to gain experience with polymeric materials, formulation, film casting, electrical conductivity measurement techniques, spray coating and developing innovative products to coat aircraft. The position is for a driven and team oriented student in Chemical Engineering, Material Science or Chemistry.


The NC Space Grant/Lord Corporation Summer Internship Program is open to current 2011-12 undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in a STEM degree program at one of the NC Space Grantís Affiliate universities.

Each applicant must submit an online application. The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, March 23, 2012. Submission instructions are provided on the application.

Applications will be reviewed by NC Space Grant staff and Lord Corporation project researchers. The review committee will examine a number of criteria including academic achievement, resume, career goals, and references.

The NC Space Grant/Lord Corporation Summer Interns will be announced by Friday, April 27, 2012.


The total value of the NC Space Grant/Lord Corporation Summer Internship Program is $9,500 per student. Students will be paid a stipend of $7,000 by Lord Corporation. NC Space Grant will provide $2,500 for living expenses.

Selected students will be treated as Lord Corporation employees. As such, students will be asked to sign intellectual and non-disclosure agreements for Lord.

To ensure that all award requirements are met, selected students will be required to sign an acceptance letter. Furthermore, students will be required to submit a brief final report that describes the impact of the internship on their educational and professional goals.


Q: What are the eligibility requirements?
A: Any student may apply as long as they meet the following requirements:
- Junior standing or higher, including graduate students in the 2011-12 academic year;
- US citizen;
- GPA of 3.0 or higher;
- Major in STEM discipline. Examples of related degrees include, but are not limited to, mechanical and aerospace engineering, materials science, physics, chemistry;
- Attend one of the NC Space Grant Affiliate institutions.

Q: If I am selected as a Summer Intern, what are my obligations?
A: The Internís responsibilities are to:
- Accept the internship offer and sign an acceptance letter;
- Complete all Lord Corporation personnel information;
- Submit a brief final report describing the impact of the internship on their educational and professional goals.

Q: Will I be guaranteed a job when I graduate?
A: No, but with the increasing shortage of professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math related fields, there will be a strong demand for a highly skilled workforce.

Q: How many interns will be selected?
A: The NC Space Grant/ LORD Summer Internship program is highly competitive. Up to seven internships will be chosen for Summer 2012.


Questions regarding this announcement should be directed to Ms. Jobi Cook, Associate Director of the NC Space Grant, at or (919) 515-5933.