US Army Corps of Engineers
Northwestern Division Website

Hydropower Internship Program

The John Day Dam spans the Columbia River in the northwestern United States. The dam features a navigation lock with one of the highest lifts, 110 feet, of any U.S. lock. The reservoir impounded by the dam is Lake Umatilla and is part of the Columbia River Basin system of dams. It's 16 generators produce 135 megawatts of power each.
The 27 Penstocks at Chief Joseph Dam measure 25 feet in diameter feed water into the turbines at the dam to generate hydropower near Bridgeport, Washington.
Senior Engineer at Ice Harbor Dam near Walla Walla District explains a generator failure to Hydropower Interns.
A graphical depiction of how hydropower is generated.

The Hydropower Intern Program supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Region, Northwestern Division including Portland, Seattle, & Walla Walla Districts, for the development and continuing education for maintenance engineers.

The Hydropower Intern Program recruits, hires and trains maintenance engineers to staff the technical sections at the multipurpose hydroelectric power plants in the Pacific Region of NWD in the Federal Columbia River Power System. The region consists of 21 plants producing more than 14,500 megawatts of power. At these plants, there are approximately 55 maintenance engineering positions. This program develops electrical and mechanical engineers into maintenance engineers to staff the technical support sections at the power plants. This program also builds the bench ensuring that critical key Operation and Maintenance competencies are maintained and understood by maintenance engineers.

Maintenance engineers provide support for the operation and maintenance of the equipment. The role of maintenance engineers include identifying equipment condition, establishing maintenance plans, conducting failure trending/analysis and identify maintenance cycles for replacement/capital improvements.

The length of time an intern participates in the program is flexible although the program is normally conducted over a four-year period. The length of program is dependent upon college graduation. Typically, the program begins following the sophomore year of college, allowing the intern to participate for two summers before college graduation. The program lasts two years after college graduation, while Career Program training rotations are completed. The interns who participate in this program are typically offered permanent employment after college graduation.


Students interested in an internship can contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Northwestern Division Intern Manager via email or at:

Intern Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Northwestern Division Hydropower Engineering
Hydropower Intern Program Manager
885 Almota Ferry Rd
Pomeroy WA, 99347