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Student Completes Internship at Caltech Through Base 11 Partnership

Thursday, October 6, 2016
Henry Ford College student Hector Ochoa completed an internship in the Aerospace Division at Caltech, which he received through HFC’s new partnership with Base 11.

HFC student Hector Ochoa completed the Caltech Aerospace Mentorship Program this past summer at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calf.

“This internship at Caltech opened my eyes to engineering. Students were trying to answer fundamental questions like airflow turbulence – is it physically oriented? My group studied the collapse of voids, the bubble that forms under the change of pressure. I like the fact we were answering questions with immediate application,” said Ochoa, of Detroit.

A native of California, Ochoa graduated from Asher High School in Southgate in 2014. He will graduate from HFC with his associate degree in General Sciences (with a focus on physics and engineering) in 2017. From there, he plans to transfer to the University of Michigan (U-M), where he also completed an internship.

Ochoa achieved this internship through HFC’s partnership with Base 11, a non-profit organization/workforce accelerator in Costa Mesa, Calf. whose focus is on creating the next generation of leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Base 11’s mission is to build a sustainable middle class in the U.S. It partners with community colleges across the nation to provide students with hands-on training in STEM entrepreneurship at one of its Base 11 Entrepreneurial Innovation Centers. Base 11 enrolls its top-performing community college students in paid summer fellowship programs. These programs include the following:

  • The Caltech Aerospace Mentorship Program;
  • The University of Southern California (USC) Computer Science Mentorship Program;
  • The USC Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Research for STEM Students Program;
  • The Base 11 Aircraft Restoration Internship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.; and
  • The Autonomous Systems Engineering Academy Internship at the University of California-Irvine (UC-Irvine) Samueli School of Engineering.

“This was an amazing opportunity. I met people from all over the world who attend Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, the list goes on. It was a pleasure meeting them and working alongside them,” said Ochoa.

Two other HFC students—Will O’Connell and Huda Sedaki—also completed internships through Base 11 this summer at UC-Irvine. Both O’Connell and Sedaki worked on a team that designed drones to help prevent chain-reaction traffic accidents on freeways. In fact, they were featured in the Orange County Business Journal.

“I am proud of these three students whose achievements are astonishing. They represented HFC very well at their internships this past summer. HFC is a place for students to grow and achieve success, regardless of their background,” said HFC Pre-Engineering Professor Hassan Mosheni Nameghi.