NSMRL Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory

Location:

Groton, CT


Contacts:

Jeffrey Bolkhovsky - jeffrey.b.bolkhovsky.civ@mail.mil
Phone: 860-694-3295

COVID Summer Status 2022:

TBD

Student Requirements:

Interns must be solely U.S. citizens. (Dual Citizens and permanent residents are not eligible.) Students must have their own transportation to the internship site.

Mission

To sustain the readiness and superiority of our undersea warriors through innovative health and performance research.

About the Lab

The Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) delivers research solutions to promote the health, welfare, and performance of undersea warfighters. NSMRL's focus is to ensure the readiness and lethality of submariners and divers operating aboard the most medically challenging platform in the U.S. Navy, the submarine, as well as in one of the most challenging operational environments, the undersea battle space. The laboratory is staffed by a diverse group of psychologists, audiologists, physicians, physiologists, and engineers. NSMRL’s mission essential assets include an on-site military dive locker, the Genesis hypo/hyperbaric chamber, and a large anechoic chamber. Areas of research include: health and performance, bioeffects of underwater sound and blast, submariner psychological fitness, human systems integration, diving and hyperbaric research, safety of the submarine atmosphere, epidemiology, and hearing conservation.

What is unique about this lab?

NSMRL is the only submarine focused Medical Research command. Its research is uniquely interdisciplinary and includes work in Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, Human Factors, Signal Processing, Electrical Engineering, Diver Physiology, and more. In addition, we are uniquely located on Submarine Base New London with access to two submarine squadrons, Naval Submarine School, Naval Submarine Support Center, Naval Undersea Medical Institute, Undersea Warfighting Development Center, and the U.S. submarine builder, General Dynamics Electric Boat.

About the Internship

We are seeking to provide motivated high school students a project-focused research experience that aligns with their future professional goals. Students will get hands on experience managing their own projects, developing their skills in related STEM fields, as well as discussions to provide students with background on the philosophy of science. Students will also gain experience working with experts in their related fields and presenting their work to the surrounding research community.

What will I do any given day as an intern at this lab?

Interns participate in lab functions in a number of ways including (but not limited to) assisting mentors with guided research projects; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; group mentoring sessions; and joining team building workshops.

WHAT SUBJECTS SHOULD STUDENTS BE STUDYING TO BE A GOOD FIT FOR INTERNING AT THIS LAB?

The primary subjects of interest include:

  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Marine Biology
  • Medicine/Health
  • Physiology
  • Programming
  • Psychology

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

As part of the internship, you will get hands on experience designing and implementing a research focused STEM-based project. Your project will have a focus in a field such as Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, Human Factors, Signal processing, Electrical engineering, or Diver Physiology. You will learn about how experts in those fields engage in research, obtain a background on the philosophy of science, and gain general experience in the field of science.

What kinds of projects do interns at this lab participate in?

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned:

Survival Systems: Researchers conduct basic and applied research and development in the biomedical and bioengineering aspects of submarine casualties by developing equipment, procedures and guidance to optimize submarine disaster survival. The researchers serve as subject-matter experts on submarine rescue and escape for the operational fleet, policy makers, and industry.

Diving and Environmental Simulation: These efforts focus on ways to optimize the safety and performance of Navy divers by investigating diver performance for a variety of environmental factors including sound exposure, thermal stress, and breathing gas conditions. Underwater noise can impact a diver through damage to hearing and internal organs, such as the lung and brain. Applied research includes reducing workplace hazards, providing underwater noise-protection tools and developing underwater force protection. A critical part of the program is the on-going direct fleet support regarding guidelines for operational limits due to underwater noise and direct support of the U.S. Navy's Force Protection efforts in diver deterrence/protection. These guidelines are developed directly from the basic research data collected by the laboratory.

Computational Auditory System Tools for Listening in Environments (CASTLE): The CASTLE program looks to develop machine learning based approaches to analyze information in different acoustic environments to appropriately communicate relevant information to the Warfighter. This program combines elements of Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing, Human Factors, and Cognitive Modeling to create computational models of attention and hearing.

Operationally Relevant Indicators (ORI): The ORI program focuses on taking physiological information (e.g., heart rate, breathing rate, etc.) and monitoring the influences of stress and fatigue. This effort combines machine learning, physiology, and cognitive science to create real-time monitoring for Warfighters' performance.