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2016 Internship Placements


All internships are for an 8-12 week period between mid-May and mid-August 2016. Please note that some opportunities may be limited to a specific time period.


Fraunhofer MOEZ

Stakeholder Dialogue and Social Acceptance

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Urban Climate and Design for Cities

IIT Kharagpur

Smart Reactor Mixing Strategies for Cellulosic Ethanol

Designing a Novel Photobioreactor System


Project 1: Eco Stoves and Ovens

Project 2: Renewable Electricity Production and Uses

Project 3: Walter Filtration and Storage

Project 4: Eco Sanitation

National University of Singapore

Development of TiO2 based Li-ion Batteries

Academia Sinica

Next Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Photosynthesis

Creating New Materials for Solar Cells

Imprint Energy

Engineering Processes for Novel Rechargeable Batteries


Analysis of Polymer Infiltration and Pyrolysis Processing for Ceramic Matrix Composites

Expanding the Role of HPC In Clean Energy Deployment at NERSC facility

High Efficiency Integrated Building Systems

Natal Energy

Civil Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Center for Carbon Renewal Mapping Carbon Removal
Climate Readiness Institute

Gap Analysis

Climate Vulnerability Study
























Fraunhofer MOEZ

(1 internship description, 1 intern will be placed)

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. The internship position is with the Fraunhofer-Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy MOEZ in the Research Group “Stakeholder Dialogue and Social Acceptance”. The key research activities of this group are:

  • Social/User acceptance of innovative energy technologies
  • Integrated assessment of infrastructure projects and Stakeholder Dialogues
  • Scientific Monitoring of international environmental policy negotiations

The position will focus on:

  • Participatory Planning for urban regeneration – Identification and evaluation of international good-practices
  • User acceptance of new energy-related technologies and products in the European housing sector
  • Identification and evaluation of policy incentives to foster energy-efficient retrofit of buildings in various countries

The interns will support the researchers in ongoing national and international projects by i.e. developing questionnaires, analyzing statistical data, reviewing literature, writing reports, etc. Moreover they might be involved in the preparation for new project applications and will have the opportunity to work on an own research paper related to these projects. The duration of each internship is 8-10 weeks between July and August.

Preference for students with an academic background in political/social sciences, environmental or energy economics, business administration and/or other related subjects.



The Chinese University of Hong Kong

(1 internship description, 1 intern will be placed)

Founded in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a forward-looking comprehensive research university with a global vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West. CUHK teachers and students hail from all around the world.

As a top university in Hong Kong and Asia, CUHK aims to nurture students with both specialized knowledge and wisdom for life. CUHK undertakes a wide range of research programs in many subject areas, and strives to provide scope for all academic staff to undertake consultancy and collaborative projects with industry.

1. Urban Climate and Urban Design for High Density Cities Supervisor: Edward Ng

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. We welcome potential candidates to visit our website:

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 can be from May 23, 2016 – August 19, 2016. 



Indian Institute of Technology


(2 internship descriptions, 2 interns will be placed)

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, established in 1959, is one of the premier institutions established by the Government of India. The aim of the Institute is to provide meaningful education, to conduct original research of the highest standard and to provide leadership in technological innovation.

Project 1: Innovating Smart Reactor Mixing Strategies for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol Supervisor: Saikat Chakraborty

Cellulosic ethanol provides one of the key renewable energy solutions to the connected global challenges of climate change and fossil fuel depletion. Releasing the sun’s energy trapped in plant biomass requires engineering innovations on two fronts: depolymerization of long chain lignocelluloses to fermentable sugars, and fermentation of sugars to liquid fuel. This project aims to innovate smart reactor mixing strategies that significantly enhance the production of cellulosic ethanol. The student shall use experimental and modeling techniques to quantify the effects of reactor mixing on the enzymatic hydrolysis and the subsequent fermentation of cellulose to bioethanol, as well as develop microreactor based technologies for increasing the product yields.

Open to: Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering students 


Project 2: Designing a novel photobioreactor system Supervisor: Ramkrishna Sen

In the new energy paradigm worldwide, Microalgae have emerged as one of the preferred feed-stocks for multiple products including biofuels in a biorefinery model. This summer project is primarily aimed at designing a novel photobioreactor system for the cultivation and cost-effective downstream processing of microalgal biomass for subsequent conversion of the same into Biooil using pyrolytic and/or catalytic processing.

The intern is expected to have background in Chemical or Biological Engineering and is required to have minimum skill/knowledge in designing bioreactor and/or bioprocess. Any experience with microalgae would be an added advantage.




(4 internship descriptions, limited to 2 intern placements)

blueEnergy delivers energy, water, and sanitation to some of the world’s most isolated, marginalized communities, providing a foundation for health, education, and economic opportunity within the context of a changing climate. Our community-based work provides an immersive, enriching learning platform for future global leaders interested in energy, water, climate change, and international development.

Project 1: Eco Stoves and Ovens

In Nicaragua, 90% of deforestation is attributed to the use of fuel wood and more than 80% of the urban and rural poor in Nicaragua still cook with wood. In addition, indoor cooking on traditional stoves causes immense ill health effects, especially to women and children in the home.  The summer fellow will research, improve the design, test, and implement an efficient cook stove and/or oven for use in one of blueEnergy’s communities, taking into account previous research carried out by former Summer Fellows. The potential impact of this project will be to provide community members with a more environmentally sound cook stove (or oven) that consumes less fuel and emits less smoke. The cook stove (or oven)design will also help to support microbusinesses, as many women will use this stove to prepare and 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.

Specific work assignments are made on an individual basis and are subject to changes in blueEnergy’s activities and outside forces beyond our control; Spanish language is a strong plus, but not a requirement.

Project 2: Renewable electricity production & productive uses of electricity

The summer fellow will work with blueEnergy’s technical and community teams to better standardize blueEnergy’s photovoltaic (PV) design and installation process. The summer fellow will also assist in improving the process and support systems for the monitoring of blueEnergy’s PV systems.  This will involve participating in fieldwork visits to rural communities to asses, monitor and evaluate current PV’s systems performance and adoption by end users. This project work will help blueEnergy’s community and technical teams to better understand the social and economic impacts of rural PV system installations. Finally, the summer fellow will prepare and participate in the installation of a PV system in one of the communities in which blueEnergy works.

Specific work assignments are made on an individual basis and are subject to changes in blueEnergy’s activities and outside forces beyond our control; Spanish language is a strong plus, but not a requirement.

Project 3: Water Filtration and Storage

The regional government has estimated that in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) of Nicaragua only 29% of the population has access to potable water and that at least 80% of the rural population does not have any access at all.  92% of the population of the city of Bluefields consumes well water, which is heavily contaminated by fecal coliform, making it unsafe for consumption. blueEnergy’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program includes the implementation of biosand water filters, mechanized and Baptist wells, improved sanitation systems (e.g. composting latrines, training on good hygiene practices, and comprehensive solid waste management for families, schools and health centers). The objective of the summer fellow is to research and analyze alternative low-cost water filtration technologies.  The summer fellow will work on technical aspects, financial aspects, and also on issues of social adoption of the alternative technologies.  The summer fellow will work with the WASH team to assess the performance against that of blueEnergy’s current water filtration technology.

Specific work assignments are made on an individual basis and are subject to changes in blueEnergy’s activities and outside forces beyond our control; Spanish language is a strong plus, but not a requirement.

Project 4: Eco Sanitation

The regional government has estimated that in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) of Nicaragua only 29% of the population has access to potable water and that at least 80% of the rural population does not have any access at all.  92% of the population of the city of Bluefields consumes well water, which is heavily contaminated by fecal coliform, making it unsafe for consumption.  In addition, Bluefields, whilst being the largest city in the RAAS, lacks any form of centralized sewage system, leading to severe sanitation and environmental challenges. blueEnergy is leading a pioneering effort with local governments to provide sanitation services to the population in the region in a more systematic way.  The summer fellow will work with members of blueEnergy’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team to further the design, testing and proof of concept of composting latrines for the region. 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.

Specific work assignments are made on an individual basis and are subject to changes in blueEnergy’s activities and outside forces beyond our control; Spanish language is a strong plus, but not a requirement.



National University of Singapore

(1 internship placement)

The NUS mission comprises three mutually reinforcing thrusts:

  • Transformative education that nurtures thinking individuals who are alive to opportunities to make a difference, are valued members and leaders of society, and global citizens effective in diverse settings.
  • High-impact research that advances the boundaries of knowledge and contributes to the betterment of society.
  • Dedicated service, as a national university, that adds to social, economic and national development.

1. Development of TiO2 based high energy Li-ion battery Supervisor: Palani Balaya

Increasing demand in sustainable energy production and its storage has stimulated significant efforts in developing high energy/power and safer storage systems. Among various energy storage systems, Li-ion batteries (LIBs) have found numerous applications such as consumer electronic and Electrical Vehicle (EV) owing to their high energy and power densities. Such applications however demand electrode materials with low cost, safety and long-term stability for LIBs. In this regard, there is a need to replace the toxic and expensive commercialized LiCoO2 cathode and unsafe graphite anode by potential electrodes. Present project is aimed to evaluate battery performance of safer and cheaper high potential spinel cathode (LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4‑ 147 mAh g-1/ 4.7 V) versus titanium-based anode material (TiO2 - 335 mAh g-1/ 1.75 V). Initially student will optimize the full cell performance of above cathode and anode materials in the coin cell level. Further, student will be exposed to fabrication of commercial type 18650 cells using our unique pilot line for production of Li-ion battery. This project is recommended for students who enjoy hands-on work and have keen interest in applied materials research for green tech applications. Minimum required internship must last 2.5 months.




(2 internship descriptions, 2 interns will be placed)

Founded on June 9, 1928, Academia Sinica started with five research institutes. Over the years, its scope has expanded to comprise 24 research institutes and seven research centers under three divisions: Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences. As the foremost academic research institution in Taiwan, Academia Sinica is charged with the missions of enhancing research capabilities in the humanities and sciences, cultivating outstanding academic talents, and providing government organizations with policy recommendations. In pursuit of academic excellence, Academia Sinica has striven to open up new vistas in academic research; to develop new approaches for appraising the effectiveness of research organizations and their initiatives; and to foster cooperation between domestic and international research institutions.

1. Next Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Photosynthesis Supervisor: Kuei-Hsien Chen

Novel nanostructured materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and graphene oxide can be used as photoelectrodes and catalyst support forCO2 reduction and oxygen reduction. 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 photocatalyst materials in order to create the next generation of hydrogen fuel cells and artificial photosynthesis.

Preference for a student majoring Physics, Chemistry, and Material Sciences.


2. Creating New Materials for Solar Cells Supervisor: Jiann T’suen Lin

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.



(1 internship description, 2 interns will be placed)

Rethinking the Battery: Imprint Energy aims to reshape the battery landscape. Currently available battery technologies limit the pace of improvement in design and functionality of portable electronic devices. Imprint Energy will address these shortcomings with its breakthrough zinc-based rechargeable battery technology, ZincPoly™. ZincPoly™ battery technology removes longstanding limitations on the rechargeability of zinc-based batteries and enables the production of ultrathin, flexible, high energy density rechargeable batteries for significantly lower cost and without the design limitations or safety concerns of other battery technologies.

1. Engineering materials and manufacturing processes for novel format rechargeable batteries Supervisor: Christine Ho

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. 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.



(3 internship descriptions, 3 interns will be placed)

Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines.

Founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, it was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

1. Analysis of Polymer Infiltration and Pyrolysis Processing for Ceramic Matrix Composites, Supervisor: Dula Parkinson

The current research, funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), aims to develop matrix concepts and processing protocols for manufacturing ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) for hot section components of propulsion systems. The goal is to develop SiC/SiC CMCs that can operate for extended time periods at 1500 °C (150°C above the current limit), allowing for increases in engine efficiency up to 5%. This increase in engine efficiency could lead to widespread energy savings, reduction in greenhouse gases, and cost savings throughout the energy production, aerospace, and nautical industries. A promising matrix processing route for SiC/SiC composites is polymer infiltration and pyrolysis (PIP), which involves infiltration of a preceramic polymer into SiC fiber preforms followed by pyrolysis to form a pure, yet porous, SiC matrix. Repeated PIP cycles are required to densify the SiC matrix. The mechanisms of defect formation in PIP processing are poorly understood, limiting further development of the process. Hence, the primary scientific objective of this research is to establish the underlying science-base needed to address defect evolution and mitigation during PIP processing of SiC/SiC composites.

Defect formation during PIP processing has two origins: infiltration and pyrolysis. During the preceramic polymer infiltration, pores form due to flow speed variations in non-uniformly packed fiber beds. The relationship between the infiltration parameters and resulting pore structure, characterized by 3D tomography at the ALS (LBNL), is currently being investigated. Furthermore, preceramic polymers undergo significant volume loss throughout pyrolysis, resulting in a very porous and heavily cracked matrix microstructure. The evolution of this microstructure throughout pyrolysis was characterized via in-situ 3D tomography (ALS, LBNL) in a thermally and environmentally controlled hot cell. This in-situ experiment showed for the first time how PIP matrix cracks form in the fiber-constrained environment, and led to a collaboration with a research group focusing on crack modeling at UCSB. The mechanisms of crack formation are currently under investigation, and are being paired with thermogravimetric mass spectrometry (TGMS) and modulus and density measurements at various points along the polymer to ceramic conversion. These studies will reveal the correlation between chemical and microstructural evolution in the polymer to ceramic conversion.

The main focus of the student’s work on the project will be on advanced 3D image visualization, processing, analysis, and quantification. The student will have the opportunity to learn about the software and approaches that we are currently using. Ideally, the student would have had some experience with some kind of computer programming or scripting since that will be required to make the largest amount of progress.


2. Expanding the Role of HPC in Clean Energy Deployment with NERSC facility at LBNL

Supercomputing is a powerful tool in the scientific discoveries now enabling clean energy technologies. DOE’s NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing) facility is where over 6000 scientists nationwide find the massive simulation and data analysis capabilities needed to power their research agendas. The application of that same High Performance Computing (HPC) capability to the design, manufacture, and deployment of clean energy technologies is in its infancy. NERSC users from the private sector currently number 150 and come from 50 companies. Much can be learned from these early adopters of HPC about the future.

This internship will involve both a retrospective on existing HPC use cases as well as developing future-facing models for public/private partnership in HPC. In July 2015 President Obama signed the NSCI (National Strategic Computing Initiative) executive order and launched the next wave of big computing, exascale. NSCI  includes a thematic focus on “making HPC readily accessible” to private-sector innovators. The goal of this internship is to identify by market sector the application areas where HPC can have the greatest impact. In these areas we wish to develop models for public-private partnerships in which HPC can aid in the deployment of clean energy technologies.

The Fellow must be knowledgeable in the application of computing to simulation, modeling, and data analysis but need not be a programmer. Preference for a junior or senior majoring in business, data science, or computer science with some lab experience. Familiarity with the following areas a plus: energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, HPC, service oriented architectures, DOE user facilities.


3. High Efficiency Integrated Building Systems

Commercial and residential buildings in the U.S. consume 40% of national energy use and produce a similar amount of the nations greenhouse gas emissions.  Energy reduction in the built environment is critical to ensuring that the effects of climate change are minimized.  Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has over 40 years of experience developing breakthrough technologies, processes and tools to enable more than $4B in U.S. energy cost savings in this time.

One of the challenges that exist in the commercial buildings market is the development of packaged integrated systems that can be readily deployed to the existing market.  While tremendous advances have occurred in developing more efficient unitary building technologies, such as LED lighting and improved high efficiency air conditioning units, large energy savings are being left on the table where integrated system strategies can deliver 50-80% energy savings at the whole building level.  An example is the development of standardized, packaged controls to integrate automated shading systems with daylight dimming controls on lighting systems – where shades are automatically deployed to reduce glare but also ensure that lighting energy is reduced by harvesting as much daylight as comfortable.  These controls can be taken a step further to integrate with heating, cooling and occupancy of the space, and prioritizing the controls accordingly.

LBNL is looking for a student who is interested in working on research efforts in LBNL’s FLEXLAB integrated systems test facility (  The applicant would have hands on experience in the design, implementation, calibration and analysis of thermal measurement data acquisition and controls systems for the testing of integrated systems.  Commercial buildings are a collection of diverse systems, including heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, automated shades, plug loads and their related controls.  Given these diverse technology areas, research opportunities exist for students spanning mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, energy and resources, and related disciplines. Research opportunities exist for student researchers who have a foundation in quantitative analysis, science and engineering, and an ability to systematically approach complex engineering problems. Familiarity with EnergyPlus building simulation software is an advantage but not a requirement.



(2 internship descriptions, 2 interns will be placed)

Founded by MIT alumni, Natel Energy, Inc. is launching a groundbreaking hydropower product enabling cost-effective production of low impact, distributed baseload hydropower from existing low dams, irrigation canals, and other low head hydropower resources. Natel is located in the heart of the Bay Area with an office and manufacturing space on the former Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA. The work environment is dynamic, collaborative and energized by recent technical and commercial successes.

1. Civil Engineering – Designing Hydraulic Structures

Natel Energy, Inc. is searching for a civil engineering intern to help plan, design, and build projects developed using the company’s hydroelectric turbomachinery products both by Natel and its customers. The ideal candidate will help plan and design hydraulic structures. The candidate will have excellent communication skills and will coordinate with Natel’s internal engineering and sales teams.

The position reports directly to the Chief Technology Officer and will involve regular consultation with other members of the management team and support of the commercial team. It will also involve collaboration with and/or management of component suppliers, external consultants in related fields, and customers.


  • Candidate currently pursuing B.S. degree in civil engineering or related field.  
  • Knowledge of and experience with, or strong interest in, layout and design of hydropower structures to relevant codes
  • Experience in selection and design of hydropower plant equipment is a plus.
  • Experience in applied mechanical and electrical engineering is a plus.
  • Helpful software skills: HEC-RAS, mechanical CAD (prefer experience with Siemens NX), AutoCAD, Matlab.
  • Provide a cover letter explaining why they are best qualified and motivated to win THIS JOB (generic cover letters are highly discouraged)


2. Mechanical Engineering - Hydroelectric Turbomachinery Product Design

Natel Energy, Inc. is searching for an skilled mechanical engineering intern to contribute to the design of the company’s hydroelectric turbomachinery products.  The successful candidate will have skill in applied mechanical engineering (mechanisms, structures, machine design), as well as a working knowledge of fluid mechanics and applied electrical engineering. Creativity in product design is essential.

The position reports directly to the Chief Technology Officer and will involve regular consultation with other members of the engineering team.


  • Candidate pursuing a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering or related field.
  • Experience in machine design, mechanical CAD (prefer experience with Siemens NX), AutoCAD, prototyping and fabrication, applied controls, C/C++, python, and Matlab/Simulink is a plus.
  • Knowledge of applied electrical engineering is a plus.
  • Interested applicants must provide a cover letter explaining why they are best qualified and motivated to win THIS JOB (generic cover letters are highly discouraged).



(1 internship description, 2 interns will be placed)

Center for Carbon Removal is a non-profit initiative at UC Berkeley that is dedicated to curtailing climate change. The Center works to ignite action to develop and implement strategies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, coined “carbon removal solutions” or “negative emissions technologies”. Carbon removal solutions, while increasingly recognized by climate scientists as an integral piece to meeting international climate goals, are both premature and largely missing from the climate conversation today. Attempting to reconcile this, the Center conducts policy- and industry-focused research, convenes events and dialogues, and curates an online hub of information and discussion on carbon removal.

Interns will help build an online map of the carbon removal field by conducting independent research on a single carbon removal methodology. Projects will be focused on one of the following sectors: ecosystem restoration, carbon farming, blue carbon, biochar, carbon-negative materials, forestry, or mineral weatherization. Interns will answer key questions on and make recommendations for their technologies by assessing the state of scientific knowledge, identifying current policy support and private funding, and creating communications/education materials. 



(2 internship descriptions, 2 interns will be placed)

The Climate Readiness Institute, a BECI initiative, brings together academics and climate leaders from government, non-profits and the private sector to co-produce cutting-edge research on climate adaptation. CRI is working to build the Bay Area’s capacity for strong climate action while creating knowledge to inform and inspire cities worldwide. CRI launched in 2015 and is currently conducting projects on protection from sea level rise, non-potable water re-use, groundwater solutions for drought, carbon sequestration in natural systems, and strategies to address urban heat island impacts.

Cal Energy Corps students in the Summer 2016 will work directly with Bruce Riordan, CRI’s Program Director, on Phase I of two new CRI projects. The first project will inventory existing Bay Area climate adaptation research studies for selected sectors, identify stakeholder research needs for each sector, and conduct a gap analysis to set the priorities for CRI’s research agenda. The project will develop both print and web products. The second project will lay the foundation for a UC Berkeley climate vulnerability study that will identify climate impacts on campus assets and off-campus infrastructure networks. This project will develop the goals, methodology, and required resources for the study.








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