boeing internship.


Donkey Car is an open source project that I used to introduce model-based engineering and machine learning to the other 64 interns in the program. My role was to set up the project, simplified enough for inexperienced interns to follow along, and document the steps for future years. The concept is to train a self-driving simulator, then upload the data to a Raspberry Pi for a physical RC car to drive itself.

Alongside my mentor, Mike Hogan, I worked through software and hardware compliance to acquire everything in a Boeing-safe way. Most of our time was spent researching and testing alternatives to Anaconda because the commercial license made it unavailable on Boeing devices. Ultimately, we settled on Pipenv but also initiated an approval process for the GitHub libraries. At the same time, our hardware request was approved, but the wrong item was ordered, which delayed the RC car assembly.

Setting up the virtual driving simulator itself was mostly command line work. We trained different models with separate tubs of data collected through user input of a few hours of driving. At the end of the internship, we hosted both a virtual and a physical race.

I collaborated through GitLab issues, then consolidated our findings into tutorial text files. At the Poster Session, where interns presented their progress to Boeing employees, I was ranked highest in all three categories: presentation, content, and audience favorite. My badge was extended to continue wrapping up the project, and I proposed improvements for hosting it the following summer.

the project


There were various other opportunities I had during the internship:

  • I listened into my mentor’s product lifecycle management meetings for AvionX, and he explained some aspects of the project they were working on.

  • Interns were split into integrated project teams (IPTs), each with a separate responsibility in helping the program run smoothly. I was co-lead of IPT 6, where we organized intern bonding events. We ran team building exercises, ice skating socials, beach day, and other events to build friendly connections and develop our future professional network.

  • Tours were conducted of the labs and facilities at the Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, and El Segundo sites.

  • Lunch and Learns were held regularly — I was invited back the following summer to speak in a college Q&A session.

I landed the internship in an unconventional way that allowed me to meet so many amazing people. All other students were selected to fill spots in the program allocated for their school. However, I live 60 miles away and met the program coordinator through robotics. They happened to need a student lead for the Donkey Car project and were impressed with my background. Thus, I was hired through a contractor rather than my school.