In this intern spotlight, Viet Tran reflects on his summer working in the Homeland Sensors and Analytics Group and the lessons he will be taking home. Tran is a U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet studying at the University of Southern California.
Viet Tran
Viet Tran

What did you work on this summer?

A fellow Army ROTC intern and I worked with our mentor to secure the homeland through unmanned aerial vehicle–unmanned ground vehicle (UAV-UGV) teaming. I was tasked with researching, designing, and implementing a docking mechanism that would allow a UAV to land on top of a UGV for mission scenarios requiring effective detection and data collection in a constrained urban environment. My work in coordination with my groups' will enhance urban tactical reconnaissance by improving the decision-making process of analysts and operators.

Which aspect of your internship was the most helpful?

Active participation at Lincoln Lab has provided me the opportunity of invaluable hands-on experience in an invigorating team environment, working on various industry application projects using the assistance of advanced technology and a compilation of knowledge not limited to my undergraduate studies but also from other areas of interest accumulated in my life. 

Effective problem-solving results from a lifelong commitment to learning, accumulating knowledge and experience in many topics that must be creatively utilized based on circumstances and shared with others to enforce collaboration of ideas leading to an evolving solution. I had the wonderful privilege of learning from leading Department of Defense employees and working alongside team members with diverse backgrounds and thinking perspectives, which ultimately broadened my open-minded approach to problem solving.

Viet Tran works at his desk.
Viet Tran works at his desk at Lincoln Laboratory. Photo: Glen Cooper

What impact did this experience have on you?

My main takeaway from this experience is the importance of creative thinking that falls outside textbook standards. Today's leaders must be able to accurately anticipate problem changes and actively act to readjust themselves to solve them effectively, requiring thinking beyond the textbook. This internship experience assists my leadership and technical development as I return to Army ROTC and continue my journey to becoming a future U.S. Army Officer interested in pursuing higher studies. I will be participating in the SOCOM Ignite program after the internship ends. Thus, the technical experience I gain at the Laboratory will remain applicable throughout college and future jobs as I plan to work in the field of robotics.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am looking forward to another summer internship opportunity at Lincoln Lab and would highly recommend this internship to other Army ROTC cadets with an interest in advancing their STEM knowledge and experience.

For more information about the Laboratory’s programs for military officers, click here.