ACEP Undergraduate Summer Internship

Apply here! Due February 14, 2022

How do I apply?

Submit an application using this form.
General internship requirements can be found on the homepage.

In your application, you will identify 1-3 projects (described below) that you are interested in matching. We will ask for a short paragraph covering the following:

  1. Please explain what excites you about the project and/or mentor that you have indicated.

  2. Please explain the ways in which you are qualified to perform the project tasks.

If you have questions regarding the specific projects or mentors, please reach out to Annalise Klein, asklein@alaska.edu.

                   

 2022 Summer Project Descriptions

  1. Data Collection & Management Support
  2. Prototype for Refrigerator Efficiency
  3. Micro Nuclear Reactor Modeling in Alaska
  4. Building Thermal Resilience
  5. Integrated Renewables in Greenhouses
  6. Co-Developed Energy Efficiency Project for Research-Bound Student
  7. Alaska Remote Microgrid Power System Simulations
  8. Tetlin-Tok Mine Energy Recommendations
  9. Coastal Mapping / Hydrokinetic Characterization
  10. Arctic Energy Atlas
  11. Cold Climate Electric Vehicle Data Analysis
  12. Wind Energy and Grid Services in Alaska (Unavailable)
  13. Community Solar Research in Support of Solarize

1. Data Collection & Management Support

ACEP Mentor: Dayne Broderson

In this project, a tech savvy student familiar with IT and programming will work with ACEP’s computer and information research scientist to support energy researchers. This is an opportunity to learn about the network and system architecture of data hosting platforms that are used in research institutions and designing secure computing environments in the cloud and in-field locations. The intern will work with a team to design & debug data pipelines for moving, archiving, processing, and analysing energy datasets.  use, debug, and support data processing systems. 

The ideal candidate will have experience in basic programming, Linux systems, and revision control systems (GitHub). This is an excellent opportunity into a career pathway for a data scientist, IT architect, or systems engineer.

Tags: information technology, computer science, cybersecurity, programming, data processing systems

 

2. Prototype for Refrigerator Efficiency

ACEP Mentor: David Denkenberger

Using heat exchangers to use waste heat in diesel generators to run an absorption cycle has many practical applications in Alaska including air conditioning, refrigeration, and seafood processing. The intern on this project will build a heat exchanger prototype that will make a refrigerator more efficient. The prototype will be built using a 3D printer and laser welder and tested in the lab. The intern will present findings through internal presentations and contribute to a paper that will eventually be published. 

The ideal candidate will have a background in mechanical or manufacturing engineering or physics. A strong background in technical writing is preferred.

Tags: heat exchangers, thermal, lab testing, prototype development, technical writing, 3D printing

 

3. Micro Nuclear Reactor Modeling in Alaska

ACEP Mentor: David Denkenberger

While many companies are working on the development of micro nuclear reactors, specific considerations for Alaska’s unique conditions are not factored. The interest in microreactors in Alaska, as evidenced by the Air Force selecting Eielson Air Force Base for the development and operation of its first microreactor, continues to grow. This project will focus on modeling micro nuclear reactors in applications including small military bases, university campuses, remote mines, and village hub towns. The intern will join an ongoing project using Xendee to model fuel alternatives, CO2 savings, and energy costs. This project has the potential to contribute to publishing a paper.

The ideal candidate will be a motivated sophomore or junior with an interest in energy modeling and study engineering (nuclear, mechanical, or electrical) or physics. Experience with Xendee is welcomed but not required.

Tags: micro nuclear reactor, nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, modeling, technical writing

 

4. Building Thermal Resilience

ACEP Mentor: David Denkenberger, Dayne Broderson

Description coming soon.

Tags: resilience, buildings, thermal

 

5. Integrated Renewables in Greenhouses

ACEP Mentor: Daisy Huang, Michelle Wilber

This project will investigate questions around food, energy, and water security for remote Alaskan communities. The intern will research issues related to integrated renewables in greenhouses and gain hands-on technical experience of design and construction of products, including thermal meters for greenhouses, control systems, and solar panel installation on greenhouses. There are opportunities to connect this project to other ACEP research projects related to water security, environmental engineering, and beneficial equitable electrification. 

The ideal candidate is a mechanical engineering major who has completed thermodynamics and has a basic understanding of heat transfer. Experience in technical writing is preferred. This project will strengthen skills in experimental design, data collection and analysis.

Tags: integrated renewables, greenhouse, heat transfer, food, energy, and water security, beneficial and equitable electrification

 

6. Co-Developed Energy Efficiency Project for Research-Bound Student

ACEP Mentor: Tom Marsik

In this project, a student will be mentored by Dr. Tom Marsik, who holds joint appointments with ACEP, UA-Bristol Bay, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC). The specific focus for the summer will be co-developed with the intern, in dialogue with their own energy interests and passion. The deliverables will include a technical paper and data analysis within a larger project. Possible project focuses include (but are not limited to) heat pump efficacy in rural Alaskan communities above the Arctic Circle, heat recovery ventilation, or vacuum insulation.

The ideal candidate will have a science or engineering background. Previous experience in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable energy is welcomed. They should bring an inquisitive, curious, and collaborative perspective. This is an excellent opportunity for a student seriously considering research as a career. This mentorship has the potential to continue during the academic year as a graduate student at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Tags: energy efficiency, heat recovery, research career, rural communities, building science, co-developed project

 

7. Alaska Remote Microgrid Power System Simulations

ACEP Mentor: Mari Shirazi

This project will be a continuation of previous work on medium voltage DC interties connecting rural Alaskan communities, to include techno-economic feasibility analyses and power system simulations. Depending on experience, the intern may also work on developing and validating power electronic controllers using controller hardware in the loop (CHIL) and/or developing Autocad drawings for a 500 kW scale microgrid test bed. 

The ideal candidate will be studying electrical engineering with a focus on power systems and/or power electronics. Preferred skills include Xendee or HOMER for the feasibility analysis, Matlab SimPowerSystems and LabVIEW FPGA or DSP programming experience for the CHIL work, and Autocad for the drawing development work. The ideal student would have experience performing laboratory experiments, simulating complex power electronic systems, and project development experience. 

It is imperative that the intern is a motivated self-starter and can independently make progress on a project.

Tags: power systems, power electronics, electrical engineering, rural communities, simulation, modeling

 

8. Tetlin-Tok Mine Energy Recommendations

ACEP Mentor: Rich Stromberg

An initial energy analysis and recommendations feasibility study was completed for minimizing the carbon footprint for the proposed mine project in the Tetlin-Tok region, focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency. In this project, the intern will use the findings from this study to work with the mining and utility companies on next steps for the Tetlin-Tok mine region. This could include considerations in mine site energy generation, carbon offset analysis, determining energy footprints of existing buildings, and grid extension. This project has interdisciplinary flexibility: defining the problem and creating solutions will need to have both technical and societal level considerations. What is the community readiness level for adopting certain technologies? What sociological factors direct certain pathways or solutions? This internship will potentially have travel opportunities to the Tetlin-Tok region.

The ideal candidate will have a foundation in analytical skills and have experience in spreadsheet data analysis and graphing. Experience with R Studio or HOMER is helpful but not required. Engineering students from a variety of disciplines (ex. mechanical, civil, mining) would be a natural fit. However this interdisciplinary project would also benefit from a student interested in growing their analytical skills and has a background in environmental science and sustainability, Arctic and Northern Studies, Alaska Native Studies, or Rural Development. 

Tags: energy analysis, mining, microgrids, community 

 

9. Coastal Mapping / Hydrokinetic Characterization

ACEP Mentor: Erin Trochim

This project will focus on environmental characterization necessary for hydrokinetic energy applications. This will include using remote sensing data to look at coastal change and fieldwork to understand site variability. The intern will learn to apply and interpret geospatial models.

The ideal candidate will have experience with GIS and/or python programming. An interest in geospatial data and its applications is key. This project will provide an opportunity to learn about data collection, processing and analysis from ground to landscape applications. Opportunities to continue working on this project in the future exist.

 

10. Arctic Energy Atlas

ACEP Mentor: Erin Trochim

This project will help build onto the Arctic Energy Atlas, which characterizes energy across the North. Currently, it provides information on transmission networks, roads, rivers, coastlines and power availability. The focus of the internship will be to develop new ways of updating renewable energy sources for the Atlas. This will be an opportunity to learn about data-mining information and explore semi-automated methods. There will also be opportunities to validate other policy related datasets.

The ideal candidate will have some python programming experience and enjoy new learning techniques. This project will strengthen data collection, analysis and synthesis skills. Those with an interest in developing energy information for policy-related applications would be a good fit.

 

11. Cold Climate Electric Vehicle Data Analysis

ACEP Mentor: Michelle Wilber

Momentum for electric vehicles (EVs) in Alaska has grown rapidly in recent years. The objective of this internship is to analyze recent data on electric vehicles in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and other communities and investigate how energy usage varies in different conditions. In this investigation, the intern will have the opportunity to create and pursue additional lines of inquiry including, but not limited to, grid impact, integration of charging with renewable energy, EV applications in rural Alaska, or research on electrification beyond passenger vehicles (to include buses, boats, planes, snow machines, etc). The student may also help design and implement a data collection and analysis plan for additional EV and charger data from new projects in the state.

The ideal candidate will possess basic or proficient programming skills, be able to inquisitively engage with patterns that emerge in the data, and draw on lived experience in Alaska to generate additional lines of inquiry.

Note: This mentor is based in Anchorage and will work virtually with the intern in Fairbanks. Occasional travel to Anchorage may be included.

Tags: data handling, data analysis, electric vehicles, cold climate applications, inquiry design

 

12. Wind Energy and Grid Services in Alaska (Unavailable)

ACEP Mentors: Phylicia Cicilio, Daisy Huang, Jeremy VanderMeer
 
**Project is currently unavailable for applications**
 
There is significant potential for wind energy integration on Alaska's Railbelt transmission system. This project will assist with the evaluation of two aspects of wind energy integration: 1) evaluating wind resource potential along the Railbelt transmission corridor and 2) evaluating grid services that can be provided by wind generators or wind generators with energy storage. The intern will collect and analyze wind resource potential data for production of wind energy, identifying ideal regions of wind energy production near potential transmission interconnection sites. The intern will also review grid services that wind generators and wind generators with energy storage can provide for the Railbelt, and perform modeling of wind generators with energy storage to verify those grid services. 
The ideal candidate will be a motivated sophomore or junior with an interest in energy modeling, be study engineering, mathematics, or physics, and have taken a basic circuits course.

Tags: wind energy, power systems, engineering, simulation, modeling

 

13. Community Solar Research in Support of Solarize

ACEP Mentor: Chris Pike

Solarize MatSu is a joint effort between the Alaska Center and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at the University of Alaska to make residential and small commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems more accessible and affordable for homeowners and commercial property owners in the Southcentral Alaska. Solarize MatSu brings neighbors together to purchase solar panels as a group to receive discounted rates on panels and installation. It will provide home and business owners less expensive panels by pairing group discount rates with available state and federal incentives. The Solarize program has been widely used in the lower 48. It allows neighbors in specific geographic areas to organize for the collective purchase of solar installation. 

 The successful intern brings curiosity and a growth orientation, exceptional verbal and written communication, and a desire to work on clean energy adoption in Alaska. The intern will join a highly-collaborative work environment with opportunities to support existing Solarize tasks, and lead on specific Solarize tasks in areas of professional interest and skill. Duties would include, conducting project surveys, managing energy efficiency components, conducting site visits on solar PV installations, and developing marketing/outreach materials. 


Tags: solar, community engagement, clean energy adoption