Co-op Student Brings Biomedical Engineering to NASA

January 5, 2017

Jacob Palladini, BBME ’17

Jacob Palladini, BBME ’17

As a biomedical engineering student, Jacob Palladini, ’17, wanted to pull himself out of his comfort zone. A co-op with an organization that sends humans to outer space proved to be exactly what he had in mind.

Palladini recently completed a 16-week stint with NASA in Houston, Tex., working as a project management and integration intern. Palladini was headquartered in the Johnson Space Center—NASA’s manned spacecraft center, home to training and research—working on a project called “Engineering Research for Future Space Missions.”

“I worked in upper-level management assisting in setting and updating templates for engineering projects throughout Johnson Space Center,” Palladini says.

While the specifics of Palladini’s work is confidential, he notes that “the purpose of my project was to maintain organization and order throughout the engineering directorate for long-term projects we may come across in the future.”

As an organization known more for its civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering components, NASA felt like a “bit of a stretch” for Palladini and his biomedical engineering background. But he believed that experience there could provide a good opportunity to connect with people in diverse areas.

“I have always been fascinated with space research, and I thought it was inspiring how the engineers at NASA aim to advance cutting-edge research,” he says.

Palladini has also since discovered NASA’s Human Research Program, which measures human health and performance as they relate to space exploration. The group’s mission fits in with Palladini’s interests and skill set, he says.

“The [co-op] culture at Johnson Space Center is phenomenal. We had a series of tours throughout the center, as well as lectures from inspiring people each week,” he says. “Outside of work, we collaborated and explored together by going on weekend trips, as well as doing community outreach.”

Palladini has been offered a future opportunity to work within the Anthropometry and Biomechanics internship program at Johnson Space Center.

“My education at Wentworth was incredibly valuable in preparing me for this co-op,” Palladini says. “My professors have introduced me to a diverse skill set that allowed me to develop as an engineer and problem-solver.”

--Greg Abazorius

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