At Calspan, we promote an environment that empowers employees and encourages innovation. Our management team enables a strong sense of teamwork with each endeavor, where successes are shared and lessons learned. The company’s talent brand, “Be Calspan”, incorporates our company values to be Inclusive, Accountable, and Innovative. Our culture promotes a positive atmosphere and competitive can-do method of action. There is a pride and a sense of ownership ingrained in each of our employees with every task set before them.
We encourage all juniors and seniors to visit us to learn more about Calspan and the variety of positions we are looking to fill. Calspan proudly employs many University at Buffalo alumni across our multifaceted company.
Staff Spotlight – Marcus Ashford, UB Alumni
Marcus Ashford spent the summer of 2018 as an intern at Calspan and was the recipient of the first annual Jay Nowakowski Memorial Award of Excellence. Jay was a long-term Calspan employee who passed away unexpectedly in January of 2018. Like Jay, Marcus demonstrated a commitment to learning and exploring while having a “can-do” spirit with a quiet confidence and positive workplace demeanor.
As a result, upon completion of his internship, Marcus was placed in a part-time position with the end goal to join the Calspan Crash Team full-time after graduation as an Electrical Engineer.
We asked Marcus to share his internship experience with us:
Current Title / Internship Title:
Associate Electrical Engineer/ Electrical Engineering Intern
Automotive Crash Test Laboratory, Calspan Headquarters
B.S. Electrical Engineering – University at Buffalo (UB).
How did you learn about Calspan?
Referred by a professor at UB…
I was encouraged to apply by an advisor in the UB Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). He knew they were looking for dedicated electrical engineers and because I participated in the CSTEP Research program that past summer, he knew I fit the description.
What attracted you to Calspan’s internship program?
Opportunities specific to my degree…
I had recognized the company from their involvement with professional events at UB and I was excited to learn that they were actively seeking electrical engineers. At my interview, I was fortunate enough to receive a tour of the facility where I was captivated by the architecture forming their Transonic Wind Tunnel.
What advice would you give prospective students looking for an internship position?
Attending career fairs is a great way to attain and learn about internships. Throughout the academic year, students should seek out professional workshops, networking seminars, and conferences. By developing relationships with professors, further opportunities become available and student’s soft skills can be strengthened.
Tell us about your internship experience with Calspan and how it transpired into a full-time position:
Intern, Part-time Opportunity
During my internship, I was involved in a variety of projects, including re-creating a power optimization script, troubleshooting a rig leveling circuit, and establishing communication with thermocouple signal conditioners used in the Wind Tunnel. After the summer internship ended, I wanted to continue to contribute to these projects which led to placement in a part-time position in September 2018. During the fall semester, while attending school, I began working with strain gage testing software in the Wind Tunnel. This led to another project to standardize current calibration methods into an AIAA recommended format using BALFIT. Having the opportunity to work on a variety of projects for the Wind Tunnel has allowed me to become familiar with many of the systems in the Calibration Room, Control Room, and Test Section. Eventually, this familiarity provided an avenue to become a full-time employee.
Coolest experience you have had interning/working at Calspan:
Taking concepts out of the classroom and into the workplace…
Applying the concepts I learned from configuring amplifiers in my electronics lab at UB to the rig leveling project over the summer was exhilarating. This was my first professional internship and I was unsure about what skills would be necessary. Being able to leverage my experiences at UB, like troubleshooting amplifier circuits, made the projects I was assigned less difficult to understand and prevented the need for additional background research.
Favorite part of ‘Be Calspan’ culture:
‘Be Calspan’ was an important part of my summer internship. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity we had to give back to the community through Habitat for Humanity. Taking part in the Habitat for Humanity program gave me a chance to learn things not only about the other interns but about Buffalo at large. Over the course of the day, we contributed to a small amount of design work and got to get in on the construction action.
Next Big personal or professional goal:
Become a Test Engineer at Calspan’s Crash Lab…
Becoming a Test Engineer at the Automotive Crash Test Laboratory will be an amazing feat. This position is contingent on graduating with my B.S. in electrical engineering which I have been anxious to receive. To focus my knowledge of electrical engineering I plan to pursue my M.S. as well.
Fun Facts about you:
I’m an Adventure seeker!
I recently went skydiving and it was the most thrilling experience of my life. The most difficult part was convincing myself to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane. In the end, I was happy I jumped… And yes, I landed safely.
Marcus has been a great asset to Calspan since joining the team in May of 2018.
Look for Calspan at a school or career fair near you.
Learn more about what it means to Be Calspan by visiting: www.calspan.com/Careers.