Sustainable CUNY Internships

As a part of Sustainable CUNY’s SustainableWorks CleanTech Scholars Program, CUNY is hiring interns for the Fall semester. The interns will support Sustainable CUNY staff in their energy and sustainability efforts through the Fall and are financially supported through CUNY’s Con Edison Scholars Program, with the potential for extension for exceptional participants and project availability. Students will earn up to $5,000 for the internship. Applicants, in partnership with a CUNY faculty member, may submit any proposal related to clean tech and/or STEM, please include an explanation under materials #1 below. However, we encourage applicants to address matters related to past Sustainable CUNY CleanTech Program foci, which include: supporting CUNY’s energy analytics and peak load management efforts, supporting CUNY’s solar market leadership through solar analytics; and IT and engineering solutions under development, supported by CUNY Faculty.

Application Form and Submittal Instructions <pdf>

Scholar Qualifications:

Students at participating CUNY campuses will be eligible to apply for internships until the positions are filled. Candidates will be screened and selected according to the program’s eligibility requirements, and notified if selected for an interview. Scholar Eligibility Requirements:

  1. The program is intended for CUNY students in their senior year of undergraduate or during graduate level study at participating campuses

  2. Undergraduate students are expected to apply for admittance to the Con Edison Scholars program in their junior year or later and graduate students prior to or during their course of studies for admittance into the program

  3. Limited to students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields

  4. Applicants must demonstrate leadership skills, work ethic, and an orientation toward a career in the STEM disciplines

About Sustainable CUNY:

Sustainable CUNY leads CUNY-wide efforts in sustainability through three key pillars: the CUNY Sustainability Project, a University-wide program that includes a reduction of CO2 emissions throughout CUNY’s 29 million ft2 in addition to a comprehensive energy conservation program; Sustainable Energy projects on behalf of NYC and NYS; and CUNY SustainableWorks, a commercialization program for clean technology.

Examples of Past Intern Work:

Shown below are examples of projects that were considered for the 2013 program. Sustainable CUNY is open to similar ideas for 2014, but other project proposals related to clean tech and/or STEM will also be considered. Scholars will be required to present their projects’ findings and results at a term-end seminar for CUNY, Con Edison, NYC CleanTech stakeholders, and management attendees.

CUNY Energy Analytics and Peak Load Management

As an on-going effort by CUNY to reduce its electricity demand and energy costs, it participates in Peak-Load Management (PLM) efforts to curtail or shift its peak electricity use during periods of high demand, especially during electric grid congestion. These periods correspond to hot summer days when air conditioning use is at its highest, and lasts for several hours. CUNY’s success in reducing its peak demand has been mixed. Students would research and assess demand management technologies and strategies, and evaluate their applicability to CUNY. As a part of this process, the students would evaluate CUNY’s historical energy demand and PLM efforts, and would design a plan for better success in future PLM efforts. The developed design plan and energy packets would include an economic and environmental analysis, and also assess the impacts of the proposed changes on building occupants and building operators. Furthermore, the reporting on key energy equipment and associated meters will be required. The program will support developing energy analytic skills and establish best-practices around broader energy analysis techniques, such as weather normalization, energy variance thresholds, and economic signals for energy efficiency projects.

Quantifying Electricity Output from Solar Panels in NYC:

As part of the NYC Solar Rooftop Partnership, Sustainable CUNY has estimated the expected output of solar electric installations on rooftops in the five boroughs, seen on the NYC SolarMap (  Sustainable CUNY is now collecting real-time data from 25 systems installed across NYC with more planned in the future.  The details of the analysis will depend on what is found, but the effort may include answering the following questions:  Do the systems generate what is predicted?  If not, can we determine why not? Further effort might involve updating the NYC Solar Map to document actual outputs or refine backend algorithms for improved estimates. Final deliverables are expected to result in publishing a report about what is found, and especially providing statistics on the average yield (kWh/yr per installed kW), average performance ratio (electricity generated relative to what was expected according to the nameplate) and whether the production matched what was estimated and if not, why not.

Sustainable CUNY Solar Map Expansion:

Sustainable CUNY is looking for a skilled programmer who can help develop new tools which can be integrated with the New York State Solar Map.  Also, this person will help create new design interfaces and an interactive guide to the solar permitting and installation process. 

NYC Solar Market Analysis:

Sustainable CUNY receives a large volume of NYC solar market data as part of its NYSolar Smart Initiative. Sustainable CUNY is now seeking a skilled statistician or analyst to examine the data and identify market trends and barriers. The final deliverable will be a report that includes recommendations to guide Sustainable CUNY’s efforts to reduce solar balance-of-system costs and grow the NYC solar market. Experience with Pyramid Analytics software and advanced Excel is preferred.

Application Form and Submittal Instructions <pdf>

Successful applicants will have excellent energy engineering analysis and implementation skills, are confident speaking in both large and small settings, and have experience compiling detailed information into reports for general management. These positions will require the ability to work independently as well as collaborate with multiple CUNY stakeholders.

Senior or Masters students preferred with relevant experience in energy efficiency, solar energy or other renewable technologies, sustainability, or cleantech.

These positions will be hired through CUNY, an AA/EO/ADA Employer (Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Americans with Disabilities Act).