Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Intern Program Celebrates 38 Years and the Appointment of 500th Summer Intern

FAU interns

The Link Foundation Board of Trustees and Special Advisors are pleased to announce the appointment of the 500th summer intern at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, Florida.  The Internship Program, now in its 38th year, is funded primarily by the Link Foundation, with additional support from the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation.  
Through this support, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University hosts several interns from across the United States each summer.  The interns work directly with a Harbor Branch faculty mentor to devise, develop and complete an independent research or development project in aquaculture, marine natural products chemistry, ocean engineering, coral reef ecology, marine biology, drug discovery, and biotechnology.             


List of 2011 Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Interns (shown above) supported by the Link Foundation:
Stewart Baskin, Florida Atlantic University
Mark Christian, Florida Institute of Technology
Heather Dupuis, Florida Atlantic University
Elizabeth Fahsbender, University of South Florida
Timothy Haines, Florida Atlantic University
Natalie Harrison, Duke University
Emily Jensen, Colorado State University
Hannah Kolb, Florida Institute of Technology
Ian MacLeod, Wesleyan University
Kiersten Miller, Rollins College
Emily Reynolds, Emory University
Caitlin Sablotsky, University of Florida
Amber Stubler, Stony Brook University
Maureen Williams, University of Notre Dame

We are proud to note that Link Foundation Trustee, Dr. Andrew M. Clark, was a Harbor Branch Summer Intern in 1979.  You may read more about Dr. Clark on our tab, “Link Fellows/Interns, where are they now?”


History of the Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Intern Program
Authored by Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University

In 1974, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, then called Harbor Branch Foundation and only three years old at the time, began a summer internship program for college students, launched with funding from the Link Foundation.  At the time, Ed Link, the inventor who had recently designed and built Harbor Branch's Johnson-Sea-Link manned submersibles, was Vice President of Harbor Branch, and Marilyn Link, Ed's sister, was Harbor Branch's first Managing Director.  The idea of the intern program was to provide college students an opportunity to further their education and training, outside the traditional classroom setting, in a real-world situation.  Working with a mentor on the Harbor Branch staff, each intern developed a project that could be completed in a few weeks and then reported the results to the Harbor Branch community.  During that first summer, ten students spent ten weeks working with mentors in the Marine Science and Engineering Divisions.  Back in 1974, there were very few such intern opportunities for students interested in marine science or ocean engineering, and the summer intern program quickly became recognized as a successful one. 

Over the next thirty-eight years this education program, Harbor Branch's oldest, has continued and prospered and has become a special one to our scientists and engineers who are invigorated by the young talent of the interns each year.  From 1974 to 2011, there have been 500 summer interns at Harbor Branch/FAU.  These interns have come from over 150 universities and colleges from 35 states and 11 foreign countries.  They have benefitted from over 100 mentors, all Harbor Branch/FAU staff members.  The Link Foundation has supported about 63% of the interns.  Another 11% have been funded by the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation, which has been providing major support for interns in marine biomedical research since 1996.  Most Harbor Branch/FAU interns go on to professional careers, with nearly half receiving an M.S. degree and about 1/6 earning a Ph.D. 

For more information on the Harbor Branch/FAU Summer intern programs, including application material, see:


Link Building Re-dedication at Harbor Branch/FAU

Link Building Re-dedication
L to R: Sister of Edwin Link and HBOI Foundation Board Member Emerita Marilyn Link, FAU President Mary Jane

Saunders, FAU Trustees Robert J. Stilley and Dr. Jeffrey P. Feingold, HBOI Executive Director Margaret Leinen, and
medical doctor for Ed Link’s Man in Sea Program, ocean explorer, author, and lecturer Dr. Joseph MacInnis

On March 10, 2011 the Link Foundation Board of Trustees and Special Advisors were pleased to join nearly 200 Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/Florida Atlantic University (HBOI/FAU) supporters, faculty and staff, the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Board of Trustees, and the President of FAU, Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, as HBOI/FAU rededicated the Edwin A. Link Building at their Fort Pierce, FL campus. 

The Edwin A. Link Building, the Institute’s largest building, was named for Ed who, together with J. Seward Johnson, Sr., developed Harbor Branch after Ed’s research interests turned to ocean exploration.  The building recently received a $9.2 million comprehensive renovation.  The 35-year old building was re-engineered to maximize energy efficiency and meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold standard.

Harbor Branch Executive Director, Dr. Margaret Leinen, stated, “This renovation is a virtual reinvention of a Facility that always has been about innovation.  The building that bears the Edwin A. Link name in many ways is the heart of Harbor Branch, and to have it remade into this outstanding facility is emblematic of the value that FAU places on marine science and engineering.  Ed was a true pioneer, and this investment recognizes and builds on his singular legacy.”


History of the Department of Ocean Engineering at Florida Atlantic University tied to Edwin A. Link and the Link Foundation

As Florida Atlantic University celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are proud of the Link Foundation’s and Edwin A. Link’s association with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and its development over the years. 

As documented by Raymond F. McAllister, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus in Ocean Engineering at Florida Atlantic University which highlighting the History of Ocean Engineering at FAU,, a significant grant from the Link Foundation in 1965 helped to support the creation of the country’s first undergraduate ocean engineering program at FAU.  Dr. McAllister states, “This gift was of such importance that the Link Foundation was recognized as one of the founders of the entire University.”

The Link Foundation is proud to expand this important relationship with Florida Atlantic University as Dr. Karl von Ellenrieder, Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering at FAU, has recently been appointed Program Administrator of the Link Foundation’s Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Fellowship Program.  We look forward to working more closely with Dr. von Ellenrieder and FAU as we seek to support deserving scholars in Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation discover their own genius.


Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Awards at Indian River State College

The Link Foundation has had a significant impact at Indian River State College (IRSC) by providing Distinguished Scholar Awards, totaling over $204,000, to over 68 highly qualified IRSC graduates since 1999.  These scholarships enable highly qualified Associate in Arts (A.A.) graduates of IRSC each year to continue their education in the fields of marine science, engineering, oceanography, physics, mathematics, energy research, or simulation training. These prestigious scholarships are presented annually to students who attained a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average at Indian River State College, and are admitted to an accredited upper-division program. 

L to R:  Marilyn C. Link, former Trustee and current Special Advisor to the Link Foundation and sister of Edwin A. Link; Link Foundation Trustees Andrew M. Clark and Jimmie Anne Haisley; Melissa DePriest, Development Coordinator/Scholarships, IRSC Foundation; and, Ann L. Decker, Executive Director of the IRSC Foundation, Inc.


The Edwin A. Link and Marion C. Link Scholarship Fund

The Link family, the Link Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Stuart McCarty (Mr. McCarty was a former Link Foundation Trustee and Special Advisor), have established the endowed Edwin A. and Marion C. Link Scholarship Fund in 2007.  This fund is administered by The Community Foundation for South Central New York, Inc. 

This scholarship is awarded annually to a Binghamton, NY,  High School senior who is a resident of Broome County, New York, and has demonstrated a commitment to engineering, with special consideration to those students who have evidenced an interest in energy, simulation, marine science or aeronautical or ocean engineering.  The student must have at least a 3.0 GPA, or its equivalent, and have been active in community and/or extracurricular activities.  The $2,000 scholarship award is non-renewable and is to be applied to tuition expenses for the first and second semester of the awardees freshman year at a qualified accredited college or university.

The first endowed scholarship was presented to Marc Houlihan in 2009.  Marc is currently a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.  The second endowed scholarship was presented to Steve Maniates in 2010.  Steve is a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

The 2011 scholarship was presented to Clara Scholtz who was in the top 2% of her Binghamton High School graduating class with an overall GPA of 101.51.  Ms. Scholtz will be attending Cornell University this fall to study Marine Biology.

Congratulations to these fine students who, with their academic and community credentials, have a promising future and exemplify the qualities celebrated by the Edwin A. and Marion C. Link Scholarship.


ARINC to present award in honor of Edwin A. Link on September 12, 2011

ARINC’s (Aeronautical Radio Inc.) Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference will take place at Walt Disney World Hilton, Orlando, FL, September 12-15, 2011.  This annual conference attended by flight simulator experts from around the world, identifies technical solutions to engineering and maintenance issues resulting in immediate and long-term savings and increased efficiency for simulator users.  An annual award, sponsored by the Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference, will be presented in honor of Edwin A. Link at the opening session of this conference.

Over the past eleven years, ARINC has presented awards in honor of Edwin A. Link to an outstanding member of the simulation community in recognition of their contributions of ideas, leadership and innovation which will benefit the simulation industry.  The Edwin A. Link Award has become world-renowned as the simulation industry’s highest award for individual achievement.

Past recipients of this award are:
2010 –             Dr. David White, Thales Training and Simulation           
2009 –             Craig Phillips, Redifun Simulation Inc. (RSI)
2008 –             Andy Ramsden, Rockwell Collins
2007 –             Joe Biller, L-3 Communications - Link Simulation and Training Division
2005 –             Jim Guvernator, Southwest Airlines
2004 –             Stuart N. Willmott, CAE SimuFlite
2003 –             Dr. John Hunt, General Precision Corporation (formerly Link Aviation, Inc.)
2002 –             Kendall W. Neville, The Boeing Company
2001 –             Stuart Anderson, Evans & Sutherland
2000 –             Joe Depaola, American Airlines
1999 –             Wolf-Dieter Hass, Lufthansa Flight Training


The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Edwin A. Link Lectures

The Royal Aeronautical Society established the annual Edwin A. Link Lecture Series in 2007 to honor Edwin A. Link, who is known as the distinguished pioneer of synthetic training.  Edwin’s remarkable foresight led to the creation of the Link Trainer, or “Blue Box” as it came to be known, the precursor of today’s powerful synthetic training devices, most notably full flight simulators.  The first lecture was presented in London in 2007, the second and third lectures took place at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, in 2008 and 2009.   The fourth lecture took place at the Royal Aeronautical Society's headquarters in London on June 10, 2010 where Marion Broughton, Vice President Avionics from Thales Training and Simulation, UK, gave a talk entitled, “The Downturn Opportunity in the Flight Simulation Industry?”

The fifth lecture took place at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London on June 8, 2011 where John Farley OBE, AFC, presented the Edwin A. Link Lecture entitled, “My 53 Years as a Flight Simulation User.”

The RAeS Flight Simulation group believes the Link Trainer represented a milestone in the history of Flight Simulation.  Ed Link is generally recognized as the “father of simulation.”

It is expected that yearly lectures will continue to be held in London and Washington, DC.