PROGRAM

Click here to see the summer 2012 program brochure.

 

INTERNSHIP PLACEMENTS

Bay Area Imprint Energy
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab)
Brazil Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory
Embrapa
University of São Paulo
Germany Bosch
Fraunhofer MOEZ
Siemens
Ghana Waste Enterprisers
Hong Kong
Chinese University of Hong Kong
India Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur
Nicaragua blueEnergy
People's Republic of China Suntech
Singapore National University of Singapore
Taiwan Academia Sinica

All internships are for a 8-12 week period between mid-May and mid-August 2012. Please note that some opportunities may be limited to a specific time period.

 

Imprint Energy (Bay Area)

Analyzing the application and intellectual property landscape for novel format rechargeable batteries

Imprint Energy is an early-stage advanced materials company commercializing a revolutionary printed battery technology developed at UC Berkeley by one of the company’s co-founders. Imprint Energy is changing portable power as the world knows it by removing limitations on battery size, shape, and use. The company is backed by the venture fund of a major chemicals company and has been awarded grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the University of California.

Imprint Energy seeks a Battery Market Analyst Intern to join their business team and contribute to the ongoing analysis of application opportunities for Imprint Energy’s novel battery technology. The intern will have the opportunity to analyze portable electronics design trends, explore intellectual property landscapes at the core technology and end use application levels, and examine battery market cost structures.

Preference for a junior or senior majoring in business administration, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, or materials science with experience in Management of Technology (MOT) or Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) classes.

 

Engineering materials and manufacturing processes for novel format rechargeable batteries

Imprint Energy is an early-stage advanced materials company commercializing a revolutionary printed battery technology developed at UC Berkeley by one of the company’s co-founders. Imprint Energy is changing portable power as the world knows it by removing limitations on battery size, shape, and use. The company is backed by the venture fund of a leading specialty chemicals company and has been awarded grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the University of California.

Imprint Energy seeks a Battery Engineering Intern to join our technical team and “make it work!” The intern will have the opportunity to shape the development of Imprint Energy’s novel battery technology from formulating electrochemical materials, hands-on processing, testing of materials and devices, and making prototypes.

Preference for a junior or senior majoring in chemical engineering, chemistry, or materials science with some lab experience. Familiarity with electrochemistry, battery science, or polymer science is a plus.

 

 

Lawrence berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab)

Developing Image Processing Techniques to Characterize Materials for Next Generation Turbines

When turbines operate hotter, they operate more efficiently. This project is to develop image processing techniques to characterize new high temperature ceramic composite materials that will be used to make next generation turbines that can operate at over 1500°C. A new hot cell has been commissioned that allows these temperatures to be reached while straining the material, and simultaneously collecting 3D images of the sample at approximately one micrometer resolution using hard x-ray micro-tomography. The Cal Energy Corps intern will have opportunity to simulate the coherent imaging artifacts that arise from x-ray imaging when using a synchrotron x-ray source (such as the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab). These simulations will allow us to understand the image formation process, and subsequently allow us to remove the coherent artifacts, leading to an overall improvement in the 3D image quality. The simulations will be done using Matlab. The intern will also have opportunity to work with the team that operates the hot cell when an experimental run is scheduled over the summer.

Preference for a junior or senior majoring in physics, math, or material science. Experience with Matlab a plus.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, May 21 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Engineering Plants to Improve Water Use Efficiency

In 2000, it was estimated that more than 40% of the freshwater in the US was utilized for irrigation. Developing renewable energy based on large-scale productions of energy crops will unfortunately further increase our water needs. In general, water limitation reduces photosynthesis and consequently plant growth and biomass yield. Developing strategies that can improve plant water use efficiency by reducing uncontrolled water losses, without reducing biomass yield, will be beneficial to reduce water needs for irrigation, and should also improve drought stress tolerance. A key target is the reduction of the uncontrolled water losses caused by water evaporation through the cuticle on the surface of leaf epidermis. To this end, a research group in the Physical Biosciences Division of Berkeley Lab has developed a technology to allow for enhancing the deposition of epicuticular waxes and cutin that are known to reduce water permeability of epidermis from leaves and stems without altering plant development. This technology may likely open a new horizon for plant engineering, since it could be used to boost the biosynthesis of specific bioproducts or specific precursors for metabolic engineering.

The proposed summer project corresponds to further characterize the above plants and to generate new ones to study transferability of that particular trait across plant species.  This summer, the intern will have opportunity to work on: plant transformation; expression analysis of several known genes involved in wax and cutin biosynthesis; epidermal wax extraction; qualitative and quantitative analysis of epidermal waxes using TLC and GC-MS analytic method; and study of the impact of wax modification on plant water use efficiency, drought stress tolerance and chemical permeability.

Preference for a student majoring in plant and microbial biology with interest in metabolite analysis; biochemistry with interest in plant biology; or molecular and cell biology with interest in plants.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, May 21 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Computational Design of Materials for Gas Separations and Gas Storage

This research project focuses on development and applications of algorithms and software tools that enable searching the vast chemical space of materials to identify promising structures for applications in CO2 capture and natural gas storage. This work is in the emerging field of material informatics, and it combines some aspects of chemistry, material science, computer science and applied mathematics. The intern will have an opportunity to engage with researchers in the development of novel software tools, and he/she will gain experience in methods of characterization of large chemical datasets as well as specific tools to analyze of porous materials such as zeolites and metal organic frameworks.

Preference for a student majoring in computer science or applied math with strong interest in chemistry or material science; or majoring in chemistry with strong interest in computer science.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, May 21 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Understanding Microbial Carbon Capture and Fixation

Cyanobacteria have a carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) that vastly improves their photosynthetic efficiency. The CCM consists of transport systems for inorganic uptake and a specialized bacterial organelle, the carboxysome, for the fixation of CO2.  The overall goal of our research is to understand the carboxysome at the molecular level to enable design of carboxysomes for other organisms and use in abiotic systems for increased carbon capture and transformation into useful products such as biofuels. Carboxysomes are composed entirely of proteins that assemble into the functional organelle.

This summer, the intern will have opportunity to work with researchers in the cloning and expression of proteins in cyanobacteria and E. coli, protein crystallization and structure analysis, and bioinformatics, as well as assist in developing imaging methods for studying engineered carboxysomes in bacteria and in vitro, or assist in making/characterizing a carboxysome mutant. The scope of project can be adapted to the intern's interests.

Preference for a student with background in plant and microbial biology, molecular and cell biology, and/or genomics, and solid lab course experience.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, May 21 - Friday, August 10, 2012. Position may either be at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in Walnut Creek or at LBNL in Berkeley.

 

 

Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (Campinas, Brazil)

 

Biomass - Conversion Enzymes From Metagenomes

Researchers in this lab conduct "omics" strategies for the discovery of novel enzymes derived from environmental samples and microbial communities. The intern will construct metagenomic libraries and perform high-throughput screening protocols through automated colony picking system to screen lignocellulolytic enzymes from soil metagenome.

Preference for a student with background in microbiology. Portuguese language is not required.

 

Biomass Structure

This position is with one of the research groups at the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE), which develops and applies thermal techniques to probe water structuring in cellulosic matrices. One aim of this research is to understand the structural variability of sugarcane cell walls. The intern will prepare sugarcane fractions for analyses and explore the relations between chemical composition, water sorption and nanometric pores.

Preference for a student with background in plant sciences and with interest in physical techniques. Portuguese language is not required.

 

 

EMBRAPA (BRASíLIA, BRAZIL)

Creating Sustainable, Less Energy-Intensive Food Crops

Embrapa (in collaboration with Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) is developing cutting edge technology for soybean growers in Brazil and around the world. With this technology, growers will benefit from better weed control with less resource input, resulting in higher farm productivity and a significant impact towards the reduction of green house gas emissions. The intern will have the opportunity to be directly involved in the metabolic engineering of soybean seeds. Specifically, the research will include assisting with the biochemical analysis of proteins and/or fatty acids in transgenic soybeans, using mass spectrometry.

Preference for a student with a background in molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry. Fluency in Portuguese is not required.

 

 

University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Laboratory of Plant Physiological Ecology, Department of Botany (São Paulo, Brazil)

Second Generation of Ethanol

Researchers at this lab work with the cell walls of Brazilian varieties of sugarcane, analyzing the polysaccharides structure by chromatography and enzymatic activities to produce data that will be used to improve the use of sugarcane bagasse and trash for second generation of ethanol. The intern will assist with work on the cell wall analyses of different sugarcane varieties.

Preference for a student with background in plant sciences or biochemistry. Portuguese language is not required.

 

Using Plants Models to Analyze Effects of Global Climate Change

Researchers in this lab work on analyzing global climate change, using Atlantic and Amazonian trees and crops as models to understand the influence of changing climates in plant physiology and biochemistry. The association of elevated CO2 and water stress (flooding and water deficit) is the focus in this lab. The intern will assist with work in the biochemical analyses of plants grown in locations with elevated CO2 and water stress. The student also will participate in data compilation from South America for the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Preference for a student with background in plant sciences or biochemistry. Portuguese language is not required.

 

 

Bosch Solar Energy (Arnstadt, Germany)

Engineering Solar Photovoltaics for Integration into the Grid

Bosch Solar Energy is one of the leading, fully integrated and globally operating companies in the PV-industry. The intern will work with the Engineering Photovoltaic System Products division which focuses on engineering innovative photovoltaic system products and their integration into future energy infrastructures. The department's key activities are: optimized systems and components for specific PV applications, module-based electronics and advanced features, integration of PV systems in electricity grids and buildings (energy management, battery storage, grid services) and intelligent data communication systems. The intern will have the opportunity to support various R&D activities (e.g. concept studies, development projects), research activities (e.g. competitor analysis, evaluation of standards), set-up of product-testing equipment (lab), and performing of measurements.

Preferred skills: electrical engineering (power electronics, programming of test equipment); or information & communication technology (web portal, apps, data server, data communication); or physics (simulation, mathematical modeling, electronics).

Please note that this is a 12-week internship from mid-May to mid-August 2012.

 

Understanding Changing Solar PV Markets

While today the solar PV market is primarily a residential market, triggered by favorable feed-in-tariffs in many European countries, utility companies are becoming more and more interested in PV as a new technology in their energy generation portfolios. In light of this, Bosch Solar Energy is adapting its systems to the needs of utility providers to help them grow this new, renewable energy business. This adaptation requires sound knowledge of national energy markets. The intern will have opportunity to work with Bosch Solar Energy's business development team to gain better understanding of the US utilities market and its likely future demand for solar PV. The student's research will focus on: developing a greater understanding of the US energy system with attention to trends in the utility sector, identifying different customer segments within the utility sector as well as main characteristics and needs of identified groups, and matching these needs with the current and planned value propositions of Bosch SE systems, gap analysis, and development of a strategic roadmap for closing the gap.

The ideal candidate should be familiar with the US-utility market, possess basic quantitative skills, and have experience with market research. Desired background in economics and business, combined with a strong interest in innovative technology solutions and interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. Candidate must enjoy working independently, and have strong analytical and excellent communication skills.

Please note that this is a 12-week internship from mid-May to mid-August 2012.

 

 

Fraunhofer MOEZ (Leipzig, Germany)

Energy Markets of Central and Eastern Europe

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is Europe's largest application-oriented research organization. This internship position is with the Fraunhofer MOEZ (Fraunhofer-Zentrum für Mittel- und Osteuropa) in the department for Energy and Social Dialogue which focuses on technical and social developments in the energy markets of Central and Eastern Europe. The department focuses on the following challenges (among others): How to implement carbon dioxide emission reductions mandated by European and national targets both on regional and local levels; How to promote social acceptance of innovative energy technologies in society, with emphasis on renewable energies and energy efficiency in buildings; How to develop meaningful concepts for stakeholders and policy makers; How to initiate and coordinate transnational research cooperations in the field of innovative energy concepts.  The intern will support the researchers in ongoing national and international projects by i.e. developing questionnaires, analyzing statistical data, reviewing literature, writing reports, etc. Moreover s/he will be involved in the preparation for new project applications.

The intern should have an academic background in environmental economics, industrial engineering, business administration, political/social sciences and/or other related subjects.  In case of interest, Fraunhofer MOEZ may offer a temporary placement at one of the MOEZ partner institutes (e.g. Fraunhofer IBP (Institute for Building Physics) or Fraunhofer ISE (Institute for Solar Energy Systems)) within the 12-week internship.

Please note that this is a 12-week internship from mid-May to mid-August 2012.

 

 

Siemens Energy Sector  (Erlangen, Germany)

Analyzing the Carbon Footprint Over the Entire Product Life Cycle

Siemens is is an integrated technology company with operations worldwide. Siemens' Energy Sector is a supplier of a wide range of products, solutions and services in the field of energy technology. The company develops innovative answers along the entire energy conversion chain for the future's energy supply. The intern will be analyzing the carbon footprint of selected products, solutions and components with a focus on increasing energy efficiency over the entire life cycle. The main focus will be on reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, but other important impact categories, such as for instance, the water footprint may also be part of the analysis. The assessment includes the evaluation of supplier data, manufacturing, operation and the modeling of the product system using a specific life cycle assessment software. The intern will also help to feed the identified improvement measures back into the product design process and evaluate and prepare the implementation.

Preference for a student with engineering background and strong interest in an interdisciplinary approach.

The internship is for a 8-10 week period beginning in late May 2012.

 

 

Waste Enterprisers (Accra and Tumasi, Ghana)

Develop Industrial Fuel from Fecal Sludge

In collaboration with Waste Enterprisers' management team, the intern will test and optimize Waste Enterprisers' process for creating renewable industrial fuel from fecal sludge (i.e. the contents of pit latrines and septic tanks). The goal is to produce a solid, carbon-neutral fuel that can be burned in boilers and kilns. In addition, the intern will research distribution methods for shipping final products to clients and help develop strategies for positioning Waste Enterprisers to commercialize its fecal fuel business.

Please note that this is a 12-week internship with an ideal start date of Monday, May 21, 2012.

 

Operate Human Waste-to-Biodiesel Facility

In collaboration with Waste Enterprisers' technical team, the intern will operate, monitor, and maintain a pilot-scale human waste-to-biodiesel facility, which handles 10 m3 of sludge per day. The intern will focus on optimizing the yield and quality of biodiesel produced from fecal sludge (i.e. the contents of pit latrines and septic tanks), helping to create the first technology of its kind.

Please note that this is a 12-week internship with an ideal start date of Monday, May 21, 2012.

 

 

Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

Urban Climate and Urban Design for High Density Cities

The intern will have opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team composed of geographers, physicists, engineers, architects and urban designers who investigate the causes urban climate change, the urban heat island phenomenon, energy flux changes and design sustainable solutions for these problems. An intern's work with this group would include (but not limited to) modeling, drawing, simulation studies, field measurement studies, review of the current literature, report writing, on-site survey work and GIS related visualization.

Preference for a student majoring in the physical sciences, math or computing sciences. Urban planning, architecture and geography students with good scientific background are also welcomed. Working knowledge of GIS and Matlab and willingness to learn Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Envimet, a microclimate software program.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 4, 2012 - Friday, August 3, 2012.

 

Optimization of Organic Photovoltaic Devices

Polymeric photovoltaic devices are a promising sustainable technology—their potential low-cost production, light weight and flexible solar cells make them highly appealing. Recent progress in polymeric solar cells has led to an increase in their power conversion efficiencies. The intern will have opportunity to gain a basic understanding of how and why organic photovoltaic devices (OPV) work through investigation of the latest literature. He/she will then prepare a sample organic/polymeric solar cell, test and analyze its effectiveness, and have opportunity to optimize his/her sample.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 4, 2012 - Friday, August 3, 2012.

 

 

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (Kharagpur, India)

Integration and Control of Renewable Energy Sources in a Microgrid

The intern will assist researchers whose work focuses on modeling and integration of renewable generation sources into a microgrid. The student intern will help researchers in developing models of renewable energy sources, their integration into a microgrid and developing control strategies for the seamless integration of the microgrid with the standard electricity grid.

Preference for a student with background in the physical sciences, mathematics, chemistry, bioengineering, or engineering. Basic knowledge of electric circuits and power electronics an advantage.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 18, 2012 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Pretreating Algal Biomass for Potential Renewable Energy Applications

The intern will have the opportunity to cultivate algal biomass in a suitably designed reactor. Thereafter, the student intern will assist in characterizing algal biomass in terms of chemical composition. Lastly, the intern will learn how to pre-treat algal biomass for production of sugars for bioethanol.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 18, 2012 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Microbial Fuel Cells

This work will focus on using microbial fuel cells to convert the soluble biodegradable organic matter in wastewater to bio-electricity. At present the researchers on this team are in the process of establishing earthenware as cheaper proton exchange membrane (PEM) in the microbial fuel cell. This project will investigate novel microbial fuel cell architecture by using efficient and economical materials for its fabrication.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 18, 2012 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Mixing Effects on Kinetics of Cellulosic Ethanol Production

The intern will assist researchers who use a tightly coupled experimental and modeling approach to quantify how mixing and mass transfer affect the kinetics of cellulosic ethanol production. The student intern will help researchers carry out experimental protocols on cellulosic and lignocellulosic biomass under various mixing conditions, and will use their experimental results to filter out the effects of mass transfer disguise to obtain the intrinsic kinetics of the process.

Preference for a junior or senior majoring in chemical engineering, bioengineering, agricultural engineering, and/or chemistry.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 18, 2012 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Kinetics of Deliginfication of Ligoncellulosics

The intern will assist researchers in experimentally quantifying the kinetics of enzymatic delignification of lignocellulosic biomass for bioethanol production. A new enzyme produced in this laboratory shall be tested on various locally available lignocellulosic biomass such as Lantana camara and Bambusa bamboo for its potency and efficacy of delignification, and the kinetics of deliginification shall be subsequently quantified.

Preference for a junior or senior majoring in chemical engineering, bioengineering, agricultural engineering, biology and/or chemistry.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 18, 2012 - Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

 

blueEnergy (Bluefields, Nicaragua)

Testing Efficient Cook Stoves

In collaboration with blueEnergy's technical and community teams, and based on recommendations from an initial cookstove study, the intern will research, design, test, and implement an efficient cookstove for use in one of blueEnergy's communities. The potential impact of this project will be to provide community members with a more environmentally sound cookstove that consumes less fuel and emits less smoke. The cookstove design will also help to support cooking microbusinesses, as many women will use this stove to sell food outside their homes. This project will reduce carbon output, provide savings, and provide community members with a source of revenue. Extensive hands-on work is required in the workshop and in the community. In addition, this project will directly support blueEnergy's "2015 All Access Bluefields" projec,t which aims to provide each household in Bluefields with access to a well, a water filter, a latrine, home lighting and a cookstove by 2015.

Preference for students with proficiency in Spanish.
Please note that the internship period is Friday, May 18, 2012 - Friday, July 20, 2012.

 

Design of Solar Latrines

In collaboration with blueEnergy's technical and community teams, and based off of recommendations from a pilot installation project, the intern will research, design, test, and implement a solar latrine in one of blueEnergy's communities. There is currently no coordinated effort by local governments to provide sanitation services to the population in the region. As a result, many families resort to using rudimentary, unsanitary pits for sanitation purposes. The potential impact of this project will be to provide a safe, easy, and environmentally sustainable sanitation solution. As mismanagement of waste can contaminate potable water sources and spread disease, this project will help reduce the environmental problems associated with improper sanitation, as well as increase the sustainability of environmental resources within the community. Extensive hands-on work is required in the workshop and in the community. In addition, this project will directly support blueEnergy's "2015 All Access Bluefields" Project, which aims to provide each household in Bluefields with access to a well, a water filter, a latrine, home lighting and a cookstove by 2015.

Preference for students with proficiency in Spanish.
Please note that the internship period is Friday, May 18, 2012 - Friday, July 20, 2012.

 

Installation of Solar PV Systems in Rural Communities

The intern will work with blueEnergy's technical and community teams to better standardize blueEnergy's photovoltaics (PV) design and installation process. The student intern will also assist in developing a better documentation process to conduct monitoring of blueEnergy's PV systems. This documentation process will aid blueEnergy's community and technical teams in understanding the social and economic impacts of rural PV system installations. In addition, the intern will prepare and participate in an installation in one of the communities in which blueEnergy works, as well as have the opportunity to test different technologies (for example wet versus sealed batteries) to determine which technologies are more appropriate for rural PV systems on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

Preference for students with proficiency in Spanish.
Please note that the internship period is Friday, May 18, 2012 - Friday, July 20, 2012.

 

 

Suntech (Wuxi, China)

Support Corporate Marketing Team in Approach to Solar PV Market Worldwide

As the solar photovoltaic market becomes increasingly competitive, Suntech is increasing its focus on product marketing to increase its competitive advantages. The intern has the opportunity to support our corporate marketing team in market research and analysis, collateral development and communications with our global sales force. The work will expose the intern to this exciting industry, specifically in areas such as market dynamics, product marketing fundamentals, and marketing communication methodologies. The internship will be based in our corporate headquarters in Wuxi, China.

Any major is encouraged to apply, though background coursework in material science, physics, mechanical or electrical engineering would be helpful in more quickly understanding photovoltaic technology and products. Proficiency in Mandarin Chinese helpful, but not required.

 

Upgrade Customer Communication Platform

Suntech develops, manufactures, and delivers reliable and cost-effective solar energy solutions around the world. This intern will assist Suntech's Vice President for Marketing for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa to upgrade the company's customer communication platform.  S/he will be working with a team to improve the customer portal and customer database to turn them into more effective tools for customer relationship-building. In addition, the intern will help to establish market analysis practice, especially on customer needs and market potential. The internship will be based in the Suntech's offices in Wuxi or in Shanghai, China.

Any major is encouraged to apply, though the successful candidate will have very strong IT and analytical skills. Proficiency in Mandarin Chinese helpful, but not required.

 

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

 

 

Academia Sinica (TAIPEI, TAIWAN)

Next Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Novel nanostructured materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene can be used as photoelectrodes and catalyst support for water splitting and gas reforming in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Improving key characteristics such as carrier transport and strong metal support interaction (SMSI) of these materials is a major focus of this research project. The intern will have opportunity to engage with materials researchers in the synthesis of these novel carbon materials, and determine their function and application as support for electrocatalysts and capacitative materials in order to create the next generation of hydrogen fuel cells and supercapacitors.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 4, 2012 - Friday, August 3, 2012.

 

Creating New Materials for Solar Cells

Research in this group is focused on developing organic dyes for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), more recently also on the development of sensitizers for organic photovoltaic cells.  The intern will have the opportunity to explore the physical studies and theoretical computation that are used to determine correlation between the molecular structure of the dye and the performance of the solar cell.

Please note that the internship period is Monday, June 4, 2012 - Friday, August 3, 2012.