Internship gives undergrads energy research experience
A new summer internship program offers selected UNL undergrads the chance to get firsthand experience in energy science research working alongside faculty mentors.
The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research launched the Darrell J. Nelson Summer Undergraduate Internship in Energy Sciences Research last summer. Now the center is looking for the next batch of interns for summer 2015, and officials hope UNL faculty will help spread the word.
“Our interns’ reactions were universally positive,” said Mike Nastasi, NCESR director. “It seemed to work well for both the students and the faculty who supervised their research.”
Applications are due by Jan. 21 for the internship, which provides up to $5,000 each to four undergraduate students. The program is named in honor of Darrell J. Nelson, a longtime board member of the Custer County Public Power District and Nebraska Public Power District. In 2005 Nelson proposed a partnership between NPPD and UNL focused on energy research. In 2006 NCESR was established with NPPD’s support.
This competitive internship is open to qualified UNL students who will have completed their sophomore or junior years by summer 2015. A key step in the application process is securing a UNL faculty member’s commitment to sponsor the application and supervise the research if the student is selected. More information, requirements and applications are available on the NCESR internship website.
“We have great students at UNL. This new program gives them a chance to get real-world experience doing energy-related research under a faculty member’s supervision,” Nastasi said. “It’s also a good opportunity to interest them in doing graduate work.”
Mitchell Schmidt, a senior physics major who worked with professor Stephen Ducharme in summer 2014, called his internship “a tremendous experience. Not only did I learn about ferroelectric materials, I learned how to work successfully in a group setting and solve real-world problems. The experience taught me a lot about hard work and perseverance as well as the joys of discovery.”
Participants in the 2014 internship, their faculty advisers and research topics are listed below.
- Joseph Beeson; Li Tan, mechanical and materials engineering; Dielectric Characterization of Cerium Oxide Nanofibers.
- Mitchell Schmidt; Stephen Ducharme, physics and astronomy; The Effects of Spin Coating on PVDF Films.
- Boqiang Tu; Concetta DiRusso, biochemistry; Expression of Lipid Metabolism-related Genes in Chlamydomons reinhardtii Treated with Lipid-inducing Small Molecules.
- Carina Winters; Yasar Demirel, chemical and biomolecular engineering; Chemical-looping Technology and Hydrothermal Process for Capturing and Converting Carbon Dioxide.
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