AITC Summer Student Program / Northrop Grumman Global Externship Program


The Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC), at the Mount Stromlo Observatory, is pleased to partner with the Northrop Grumman Externship Program to offer summer internship positions for undergraduate students studying engineering, science, computer science or mathematics. Interns will complete a defined research project and participate in activities that develop technical skills and help prepare them for professional employment. They will be supervised and mentored by AITC scientists and engineers and will be required to work as a team in completing set tasks.

Please note: Due to the current uncertainty around interstate and international travel, for 2020/2021 we are limiting the scope of the AITC Summer Research program to include only currently enrolled ANU undergraduate students.

2020/2021 AITC Summer Student Program

This year's AITC Summer Student Program will be run as part of the Australian National University's Summer Research Scholarship/Student program, commencing Monday, 30th November 2020 and finishing Friday, 29th January 2021.

Applications for the AITC Summer Student Program should be submitted to Associate Professor Tony Travouillon using the provided application form. Applicants will also need to arrange for two referee reports from academic referees to be sent directly to Associate Professor Tony Travouillon. Corresponding applications for the RSAA Summer Student program should be sent to Dr Trevor Mendel.

The closing date for applications is September 25th 2020.

The Program

Students will complete a defined project under the supervision of an AITC staff member. In addition to completing a specified project, all students will participate in activities that develop their professional skills and expand their understanding of the Australian Space Industry, including:

  • Tour of the AITC and EOS Space Systems
  • Access to technical experts from Northrop Grumman in Australia and the US
  • Tour of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
  • Tour of Siding Spring, Parkes, and Narrabri Observatories
  • Expert speaker program in astronomy, instrumentation and space engineering
  • Development of report writing skills
  • Development of presentation skills


  • Project plan (within one week of start date). This must be approved by the project supervisor and will define the project milestones.
  • Literature review. All references and sources must be cited.
  • Progress reports
  • Written project report
  • Abstract for a conference paper and abstract for public talk
  • Public presentation of project and results at the end of the internship

Available Projects

A list of available project is list on the potential projects page


  • Due to increasing delays in Australian immigration/study visa processing times, students applying for the AITC Summer Student Program must already hold rights to study in Australia for the full duration of the program. Students who cannot demonstrate that they hold an appropriate visa to study in Australia, at the time of application, and for the duration of the program, will not be considered.
  • The primary working location will be the Mount Stromlo Observatory.  
  • Transport to and from Mount Stromlo is the responsibility of the student. A free shuttle bus is available to students between the ANU main campus in the morning (arriving at 9:00 am) and the evening (departing at 5:00 pm)
  • Students must be available for the full duration of the program (with the exception of the Christmas break). This is a non-negotiable requirement.
  • The program offers approximately 280 hours of supervised work. Requests for program extensions beyond the normal program duration must be submitted to the AITC Summer Program Convenor before, and no later than, the week prior to the Christmas break. Extension requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to the availability of supervisors, the availability of a project, and the performance of the student.
  • IMPORTANT: The ANU Summer Research Scholarship cannot be extended beyond the normal duration of the scholarship program. Students interested in applying for an program extension must therefore plan to support themselves, and find alternative accommodation, beyond the normal duration of the scholarship program.


Please direct any enquiries to and Associate Professor Tony Travouillon (, AITC Summer Student Program Convenor.

This program would not be possible without the support of a number of organisations and individuals. The AITC would like to thank ANU, Northrop Grumman, EOS Space Systems, the Space Environment Research Centre and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.