Intern of the Year


Engineering Career Connections Intern of the Year

Annually, Engineering Career Connections (ECC) recognizes the achievement and excellence of an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student who has excelled in and made a significant impact within an internship or cooperative education (CoOp) experience.  

Click here for more information on the  Intern of the Year award, including details on how to apply! 

Award Recipients


2023 Intern of the Year, Edwin Lopez-RomanEdwin Lopez-Roman: 2023-2024 Intern of the Year

Edwin is a senior mechanical engineering student who interned as a Crossover Intern with Brown Engineers. Edwin's supervisor at Brown Engineers, Scott Osborn Geurin, stated that Edwin was "an integral team member, especially on his many construction phase tasks, including site visits, construction observation, and submittal reviews." Edwin's impact extended beyond his immediate responsibilities as he took the initiative to improve the organization's "onboarding process for future interns and new hires by creating step-by-step guides for tasks" that Edwin was trained on. Edwin's commitment to his peers' growth was evident in his experiential experience as he tutored his fellow interns. This servant leadership extends beyond his internship and into the University of Arkansas community, where he mentored incoming students as Theta Tau's sophomore council member/mentor. Edwin is also Vice-President of external affairs for the University of Arkansas' Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Edwin's resilience, integrity, and determination in facing challenges have set him apart. Edwin's commitment to personal growth, combined with his ability to motivate and support others, reflects his exceptional character.


2023 Cooperative Education Student of the Year, Grady WidenerGrady Widener: 2023-2024 Cooperative Education Student of the Year

Grady completed a cooperative education experience with Tesla in the spring of 2023. As Tesla’s Powertrain Equipment Engineering Intern, Grady left an indelible mark on the company’s program and the organization he worked with. During his internship, he aided in resolving an issue that was “present in the process since the program’s inception,” stated Grady’s supervisor, Jonathan Romero. “Grady was an exceptional intern for us. He filled a huge void on my team, specifically when it came to out of the box thinking design projects.” Grady’s efforts were not only noticed by his organization but lauded. “Grady was one of the most productive and efficient interns we’ve had at Tesla in my 11+ year tenure.” Grady's commitment to professional development is evident in his proactive pursuit of additional credentials and skills. Classified by Dr. Darin Nutter as one of Mechanical Engineering's high-achieving students, Grady's strong work ethic and self-motivation set a standard that is truly commendable.

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