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2021 Cal Energy Corps Virtual Reception Showcases Student Research

October 15, 2021
2021 Cal Energy Corps students' headshots

The Cal Energy Corps Virtual Reception was held on Tuesday, Sept. 28, giving this year’s student interns an opportunity to present their research conducted throughout the summer-long program. The reception focused on facilitating interaction between Cal Energy Corps participants and attendees through the virtual gather.town application, which allowed attendees to enter different participants’ “rooms” for poster viewings. Two poster viewing sessions were allotted for guests to explore and ask questions about the students’ research, so that the Cal Energy Corps students could take a break from their own posters and see what their peers have been working on as well.

The interns spent their summer working alongside a variety of host organizations, including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, PingThings and Johnson Controls, among others. The students’ research topics mainly centered around topics such as renewable energy and innovative power systems like microgrids, but each had unique scopes and focuses. Research poster subjects ranged from solid-state batteries to energy data analytics to data algorithms for power grids. 

Julie Hoang, a junior studying Chemical Engineering, was paired with Johnson Controls, an HVAC company, this past summer as a product development intern. Her mentorship allowed her to work with UI/UX practitioners and to restructure Johnson Controls’ competitive analysis documentation. “I was surprised that I gained confidence in my technical abilities,” Hoang said. “Before this summer, I had done technical research before, but this opportunity was unique because I was really thrown into the unknown. I was the only intern on my specific team, and it was extremely interesting and rewarding to learn and have my self-confidence grow. 

Naveen Bahadur, a senior studying Energy Engineering, was paired with GridWare, a wildfire prevention technology company, this past summer as a hardware engineer intern. “In this day and age, many companies are trying to use more clean energy and be more environmentally conscious, “ Bahadur said. “The work I did this summer showed me that energy engineering and solar power are in high demand and will be crucial in the next couple of decades.” 

After the poster sessions concluded, an awards ceremony was held, with prizes for the best Cal Energy Corps blog, the best poster as judged by the expert panel, and the best poster as voted by event attendees. The reception ended with closing remarks by the Cal Energy Corps Program Manager, Eric Lee. Lee expressed his gratitude towards the program’s hosts and participants, and thanked guests for their attendance. The closing remarks were followed by a free networking session, where guests, CIEE staff, and students were able to further interact. The 2022 Cal Energy Corps application will open again in the spring semester, with another round of internships to start in May 2022.

Cal Energy Corps website