This summer Mark Benya ’14 will find himself on the edge of the final frontier – casting his sights toward the dark expanse of outer space. The computer science and English double major recently accepted a prestigious summer internship with The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
At the organization’s independent verification and validation facilities in Fairmont, W.Va., Benya will work with a software team, focusing on improving overall software safety and reliability for shuttle missions, both manned and unmanned.
During his three-month internship, Benya will work to identify and correct errors in the software program that is used to relay messages to and from the shuttle. He will also work with a team of engineers to create a specific safety device that will reduce the likelihood of errors through the mission.
“I am always looking to push myself,” says Benya of his decision to work for NASA. “This internship will allow me to work hand-in-hand with highly skilled individuals who will expect nothing but the best from me day in and day out.”
Benya feels well prepared for the experience thanks to the dedication of numerous professors. “I’ve been taught how to think for myself when faced with new and challenging concepts,” says Benya. “I am excited to work alongside some very talented individuals, and hopefully learn as much as I can from them. It will be an amazing feeling, knowing that I contributed my time and effort to the next shuttle that is launched into space.”
On campus, Benya is goalkeeper for the Hobart varsity soccer team. He also serves as an emergency medical technician on the HWS EMS squad.