Applied Psychology Internship: Operations Safety Officer


The intern will receive training as a Safety Officer in the Operations Department of an alumni/student-run collegiate rocketry nonprofit that handles all preparations for rocket engine ground tests and rocket launches within the state of New York and in New Mexico during yearly launches at the Spaceport America Cup (SAC).

Specifically, the intern will learn and employ:

  • Human Performance Indicator (HPI) tools in evaluating proposed test and launch operations
  • Precursors to high-hazard injuries; how to identify and mitigate
  • Applying human factors research as it pertains to safety
  • Reviewing, writing, and editing procedures
  • The basis of the Incident Command System (ICS), and how it is utilized in rocket tests and launches
  • Collegiate rocketry-specific safety guidelines
  • Applicable National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) safety guidelines
  • Basic first aid and the use of fire extinguishers
  • Chemical safety

It is understood that the intern is coming with no direct experience in either safety or rocketry. As such, the intern must be willing and able to

  • Read and apply material (there will be a lot of reading!)
  • Be comfortable with communicating via written and spoken word
  • Enjoy the challenge of learning something new
  • Enjoy working with people from different walks of life, majors, and expertise
  • Hold paramount the safety of others over popularity (never trading “safety for goodwill”)

The intern will work with a variety of people representing a diversity of expertise and discipline to:

  • Integrate human factors research into test and launch operations procedures and practices
  • Work with engineering and operations personnel to evaluate current operational practices against industry best practices
  • Assist in the development of safety training for engineering and operations personnel

At the end of the internship, the student will have:

  • Developed a safety mindset that can be taken into many industries
  • Been made aware of safety and operations certifications that they could obtain if they wish
  • Have a thorough understanding of industrial safety practices generally and in rocketry specifically
  • Done satisfying cooperative work with people from many walks of life and areas of interest

If you are interested in this internship, contact Dr. Richard Paino ( ) and (reference HLA-3)

Last Updated: 07/06/2023 16:15