Project Listings

Spring 2021 Projects

FEASIBLE

About Feasible
Batteries are crucial to many important technologies, especially electrified transportation and renewable energy generation, but significant price pressure and latent quality issues remain. At Feasible, our mission is to help batteries safely and reliably power our futures.

We are building a unique intelligence platform that uses ultrasound and data analytics to deliver critical insights across the value chain. We aim to improve the world and the environment by helping accelerate time-to-market for new batteries, decrease the cost of battery production, and improve battery quality and performance.

Postion #1
Details: You will be a member of a small, full-stack development team responsible for our data collection, visualization, and analysis toolchains. You will support the entire company by developing new tools for data acquisition and visualization, working with large acoustic and battery cycling time series datasets, and by working with engineers and scientists to help solve their problems through interface design.

Experience: No specific experience requirements. Desire to learn is critical.

Location: Position is remote.

Postion #2
Details: This position will be focused on data collection and analysis using our ultrasonic battery inspection technology. Additionally, there will be tasks related to the design and fabrication of fixtures and equipment.

Experience: No specific experience requirements. Desire to learn is critical.

Location: On site in Emeryville.

INCHFAB, INC.

About Inchfab
Inchfab is developing an agile microfabrication platform to provide rapid manufacturing capabilities for the semiconductor and micromechanical IoT chip markets. Inchfab’s core technology is a set of ultra-low-cost microwave oven sized microfabrication tools that have the same capabilities as commercial counterparts but at a fraction of the cost and footprint size. Learn more at www.inchfab.com.

Project
A critical part of Inchfab’s agile microfabrication platform is a web-based interface that allows users to input their designs and receive real-time feedback on manufacturability, cost, and lead time. The main thrust of this project will be helping to build and test critical elements needed for this interface. For example, one task will be helping to design a process matrix that guides users in determining and visualizing which processes are needed to fabricate their devices, and another will be establishing a “design-tree” of rules for when those processes can be run (e.g. some high-temperature processes cannot be run after certain metal layers have been deposited).

A stipend is offered for this position.

Location
Flexible, remote work or potentially at LBNL, depending on Covid shutdown status.

Time commitment
Up to 12 hours per week.

Application Requirements (Preferred, although not explicitly required)
A basic understanding of micro- and nanofabrication processes via previous work or courses like EE143 or EE147. Basic familiarity with micro- and nanofabrication processing. 

NITRICITY INC.

About Nitricity Inc.
Nitricity's core mission is to decarbonize the production, distribution, and application of nitrogen fertilizer. We provide distributed, on-farm systems, which produce nitrogen fertilizer from air, water and renewable electricity. Nitricity currently has a pilot system operating on a farm in Fresno, CA and an R&D facility in San Francisco.

Project
Computer aided design (CAD) improvements and supplier identification related to the scale-up and manufacturability of system components. Sub-projects will be requested on a week to week basis depending on greatest need. Results will help us improve efficiency and decrease the cost of producing sustainable fertilizer, reaching more farms. [50%-100%] 

In-person building and testing of designed components for on-farm systems. [0-50%]

A stipend is offered for this position.

Location
450 3rd St #3f, San Francisco, CA 94124
Onsite work preferred, remote work possible.

Time Commitment
Approximate weekly time commitment: 10 hours per week.

Application requirements

  • Experience with Solidworks (CAD) software or ability to learn and practice it outside of the 10h/wk commitment.
  • Students who are builders, motivated by improving sustainability of industries.

TAKACHAR

About Takachar
Takachar is an MIT spinout company started by an MIT PKG Public Service alum Kevin Kung. The company's vision is to expand the amount of biomass (crop and forest residues) economically converted into useful products. Our impacts include income and job creation in rural areas, as well as mitigation of CO2 emission and air pollution associated with conventional open-air biomass residue burning.

Project
Starting in spring 2021, we will be building and testing a demonstration-scale prototype. We are seeking a project engineer to coordinate this effort. Initially, the engineer will assist in design, fabrication, and assembly of the prototype by working alongside our manufacturing subcontractors. Priority will be given to remote work. However, optional practical testing experience can also be arranged, subject to proper COVID safety procedures. A stipend is offered for this position.

Prior experience with SolidWorks, design for manufacturing, control systems, and reactor testing will be helpful. A project website (if you have one) will help us gauge your experience.


Fall 2020 Projects

ALL POWER LABS

About All Power Labs
All Power Labs designs, engineers, and manufactures biomass gasification energy platforms. We create physical tools and information resources for people to be able to make and use renewable energy.

Project
The objective of this position is to test how system operating conditions—such as reduction temperature, feedstock throughput, feedstock moisture content, and grate shaking intensity—affect the resulting tar content and syngas composition of APL’s biomass gasifier. The intern will document results for use in internal and grant reports. The intern will also be a member of the Energize Colleges cohort; as part of the cohort, the intern will track energy savings and reflect on their internship experience and they will also have access to trainings and professional development support throughout the semester.

Time Commitment: Approximate weekly time commitment is 10-20 hours/week.

Location: 1010 Murray St, Berkeley, CA 94710 (Remote work possible depending on shelter-in-place status.)

Application requirements

  • Resume and cover letter
  • Be a currently enrolled graduate or undergraduate student at UC Berkeley pursuing an environmental, energy, engineering, or related degree
  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Be able to provide valid Federal I-9 form required identification and authorization for employment
  • Be detail oriented and data driven
  • Be dependable and committed to the internship for its entire duration

ARALEZ BIO

About Aralez Bio
Aralez Bio is harnessing evolution to manufacture green chemicals. By leveraging protein engineering techniques such as directed evolution, we have developed an enzymatic platform to synthesize never-before-seen chemicals needed for innovations in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and functional materials.

Summary
At present, Aralez Bio is commercializing an enzymatic process for efficient production of nonnatural amino acids using technology developed by the co-founders in Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold’s group at Caltech.

The intern will work at our facility in San Leandro to engineer enzymes that sustainably manufacture unnatural amino acids. The intern will have an opportunity to work closely with the co-founders and senior scientists to learn wet lab skills like cloning, protein expression, biocatalysis, high-throughput screening, organic chemistry, and automation. Our facility is accessible by BART and the free San Leandro Links shuttle, and there is free parking on site.

BRIMSTONE ENERGY

About Brimstone Energy
Ordinary Portland Cement is the most consumed human-made material in the universe. The production of Ordinary Portland Cement is responsible for 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (the same a cars!). Cement is particularly difficult to decarbonize because the bulk of the emissions come directly from the thermal decomposition of the limestone (CaCO3 -> CaO + CO2) an essential chemical step in the production of Cement. Therefore clean energy alone will not decarbonize cement. Brimstone Energy is developing a novel technology to make Ordinary Portland Cement for lower cost and without GHG emissions.

Summary
We are searching for two undergraduate interns to help develop our hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes respectively.

  1. One intern will optimize our wet chemistry process which is essential in our cement production process. We are seeking a motivated chemist, chemical engineer, material scientist, metallurgist or related who is interested in learning how to manipulate rocks with wet chemistry and meaningfully contribute to new chemistry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. One intern will optimize our pyro chemistry process which is essential in our cement production process. We are seeking a motivated chemist, chemical engineer, material scientist, metallurgist or related who is interested in learning how to manipulate rocks with heat and meaningfully contribute to new chemistry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

FEASIBLE

About Feasible
Batteries are crucial to many important technologies, especially electrified transportation and renewable energy generation, but significant price pressure and latent quality issues remain. At Feasible, our mission is to help batteries safely and reliably power our futures.

We are building a unique intelligence platform that uses ultrasound and data analytics to deliver critical insights across the value chain. We aim to improve the world and the environment by helping accelerate time-to-market for new batteries, decrease the cost of battery production, and improve battery quality and performance.

Hardware Development Intern
You will be a crucial member of the team responsible for designing and building the equipment that will one day set the standard in battery production. You will turn design concepts into robust, reliable prototypes and commercially-deployable products. You will seek our feedback on functionality to refine our products. Most importantly, you are a good fit if you love to build and improve systems, and you get great satisfaction from seeing people do great things with your work.

Location: Work must be completed at our site in Emeryville, CA. Remote work is not possible for this position.

Time commitment: 20 hours a week or more is desired.

Software Development Intern
You will be a member of a small, full-stack development team responsible for our data collection, visualization, and analysis toolchains. You will support the entire company by developing new tools for data acquisition and visualization, working with large acoustic and battery cycling time series datasets, and by working with engineers and scientists to help solve their problems through interface design. The ideal candidate has experience building software in the Python language, and enjoys solving tricky problems with it.

Location: Work can be completed remotely, or (if desired) at our site in Emeryville, CA.

Time commitment: 20 hours a week or more is desired.

Battery Testing & Evaluation Intern
You will play a key role in designing and running experiments. Your feedback will also be crucial for our product development team. You will also have the opportunity to explore various projects and expand your skill set. The ideal candidate is willing to get their hands dirty in mundane tasks while also owning some really cool projects.

Location: Work must be completed at our site in Emeryville, CA. Remote work is not possible for this position.

Time commitment: 20 hours a week or more is desired.

INCHFAB, INC.

About Inchfab
Inchfab is democratizing micro- and nanofabrication capabilities through its development of a high performance, ultra-low cost modular fabrication platform. Just as additive manufacturing and distributed manufacturing networks have dramatically increased the accessibility of macroscale fabrication, Inchfab is actively working to provide cost-efficient micro- and nanoscale fabrication capabilities accessible by anyone. Learn more about us at www.inchfab.com.

Project 1: Real-Time Model Predictions For Inchfab Process and Recipe Control System
In this project, an intern would be helping develop an integrated software interface that combines the existing Inchfab Process and Recipe Control System (PARCS) with the statistical performance models we've developed for a variety of micro- and nanoscale fabrication tools. The statistical models take empirical data from previous fabrication processes (e.g. etch, deposition, or thermal processes) and use this data to create response surfaces that connect input parameters to output characteristics for a particular process. We would like to integrate these models with our PARCS system to allow users to be able to select their desired output characteristics for the process and have the appropriate input parameters automatically generated and sent to the fabrication tool. The envisioned interface would have a simple way for users to enter post-process characterization data, and (eventually) incorporate real-time process monitoring data to update the model predictions. The ideal candidate would have an understanding of basic statistical modeling and of software development principles (Java and/or Python in particular). Additional experience or familiarity with micro- and nanofabrication or design-of-experiments methodology are not required but would be viewed favorably.

Project 2: Fluid Flow Simulation for Low Pressure, Transitional Flow Regime Systems
One of the common physical situations encountered in vacuum-based micro- and nanofabrication processes is fluid flow (typically gases) through small pipes and orifices. The dimensions of these pipes and orifices and the pressures encountered in these processes lead often to situations where the flow behavior is described by neither viscous nor molecular flow equations, but instead an intermediate set of semi-empirical equations corresponding to what is known as the transitional flow regime. These equations and computational methods for solving them have been well described in published literature. At Inchfab, we are looking to create a basic simulation platform that integrates these solution methods with a circuit/network theory backbone that allows the pressures and gas flows through simple networks of pipes and orifices to be easily determined, which will accelerate the development of Inchfab's platform of micro- and nanofabrication equipment. The ideal candidate would have an understanding of numerical methods for solving large systems of equations and of software development principles (we are relatively platform agnostic for this project, but believe something like MATLAB, Python, or Mathematica may be the most appropriate). Additional experience or familiarity with micro- and nanofabrication or optimization (for reducing computation times) are not required but would be viewed favorably.

Location: Flexible, remote work or potentially at LBNL, depending on Covid shutdown status.

NOBLE THERMODYNAMICS

About Us
Driven by our mission to radically and quickly reduce the world’s carbon emissions and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels, Noble Thermodynamics is bringing to market its breakthrough in power generation technology offering zero-carbon, dispatchable, and affordable power. Our technology is a reciprocating engine with no exhaust! We are seeking passionate and motivated interns who share our core value of professional excellence. We not only welcome but also celebrate diversity in our team. We want you to bring the best of you and your culture to the team for everyone to learn and grow. Most importantly, we believe that being part of a team is not just working together but having fun together. With us you will also participate in fun extracurricular activities that help you to bond with our team and to disconnect from the stress of college and work!

Projects
Regardless of whether your background is in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or any other engineering discipline, you have an opportunity to learn and better your skills with us. Apply and join us in knocking the emissions off of our power grid!

Project 1: Power Train Characterization and Instrumentation.

Prefered Discipline: Mechanical-Eng.


Description: In this role you will characterize and instrument a powertrain test system. You will design, prototype, and test necessary mechanical components (installation of thermocouples, pressure transducers, etc.). You will use your engineering skills to define the optimum placement of instruments and carry out the necessary modifications to the original system. You will then carry out iterative optimization based on test results. You should be comfortable and fluent with CAD modeling software, have a basic understanding of DAQ components and knowledge of how reciprocating engines work.

What you will learn: CAD Engineering Modelling, CFD Mesh creation, basic experimental instrumentation, Rapid prototyping and assembly.

Project 2: Auxiliary Systems design and P&F Planning

Prefered Discipline: Mechanical-Eng, Electrical-Eng.


Description: you will design specific auxiliary systems (e.g. sensor cooling system, gas flow control systems etc.) outlining procurement and fabrication instructions , assemble and test. You must have prior knowledge of fluid and solid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer and manufacturing.


What you will learn: Engineering System Design, Applied Thermodynamic and Fluid Mechanics concepts, Rapid prototyping and assembly.

Project 3: System Control development

Prefered Discipline: Mechanical-Eng, Electrical-Eng.


Description: you will program modular graphic algorithms to aid in the control of different processes. This encompases process temperature/pressure control, reaction stoichiometry control etc. You should have prior knowledge of Labview, control theory and basic experience working with experimental testing systems. Previous experience with LabView is imperative.
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What you will learn: Labview Real Time Controls, DAQ instrumentation and limitations, Power System Controls.

Project 4: Market Research - Beachhead Markets Characterization.

Prefered Discipline: Industrial-Eng, Environmental-Eng.


Description: you will be responsible for sizing and characterizing an applicable market, identify the major barriers to entry (policy, regulation, competition), qualitatively and quantitatively measure the financial risks and opportunities of such a market, and work with the team to define prospective go-to-market strategies based upon their findings. You should have a strong sense of curiosity, a general willingness to learn, and good communication skills to interact with market actors on a daily basis. You will be required to present your results orally and in writing to a general audience.


What you will learn: Engineering Economics, Market Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation.

Project 5: Market Research - Energy and Environmental Policy Landscape.

Prefered Discipline: Environmental-Eng, Industrial-Eng.


Description: You will be responsible for identifying and characterizing relevant current and future energy and environmental regulation. You will work to translate the regulatory language into techno-economic language. You will carry out techno economic sensitivity analysis based on different policy scenarios. This work encompases the creation of a well structured policy database (filtering by geography, agencies, etc.). You should have a strong sense of curiosity, a general willingness to learn, and good communication skills to interact with policy actors on a daily basis. You will be expected to present your results orally and in writing to a general audience.


What you will learn: Techno Economics Modelling for Power Technologies, Energy Policy Infrastructure, Engineering communication.


Location
Noblethermo holds, along its main office, working space within UC Berkeley Campus and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Unless your project is focused on experimental research, you may work remotely with scheduled in person progress meetings.

Time Commitment
You are expected to commit a minimum of 20 hours per week to their project and report progress weekly.

SONERA MAGNETICS

About Sonera Magnetics
Sonera Magnetics is changing how people interact with the physical and virtual worlds by developing brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on magnetic sensing. While technology has changed nearly every aspect of the world around us, the way we interact with that technology has not evolved at a similar pace – we still rely on our bodies' motor functions to translate intent into action. Sonera is a team of Berkeley alumni translating our graduate research on Acoustically Driven Ferromagnetic Resonance (ADFMR) into magnetic sensors and BCIs that will transform the way we control digital systems.

Projects

Project 1: Hardware Intern – Device Characterization

Time commitment: 20 hours per week minimum commitment

Background: Engineering, Materials Science, Physics (RF and/or magnetics experience a plus!)

Position Summary: In this role, you will be trained on a variety of characterization tools, including standard RF equipment (Vector Network Analyzer, Spectrum Analyzer, etc.) as well as custom magnetic measurement systems, and will use that training to perform measurements of Sonera's ADFMR devices. You will modify and develop control software to help automate measurements and simplify data collection. You will also learn how to analyze these measurements in order to calculate relevant sensor parameters like magnetic sensitivity and noise floor, and will share this data with the team.

Location and remote work: Work will be conducted at Sonera's headquarters in West Berkeley, Berkeley campus, and/or LBNL; onsite work is mandatory.

Project 2: Software Intern – Device Simulation

Time commitment: 10 hours per week minimum commitment (20 hours preferred)

Background: Engineering, Physics, Data Science, Computer Science (programming experience required; Python programming, statistics, and/or simulation experience a plus!

Position Summary: In this role, you will work to develop simulation models based on empirical data that will help guide device fabrication efforts. You would work with our company CTO to develop algorithms that combine physics-based models of ADFMR systems with experimental data to enable the prediction of system behavior as a function of device properties like thickness, length, excitation frequency, and material composition. You will also be responsible for writing high-quality documentation to allow for project handoff at the end of the semester.

Location and remote work: Due to its software focus, much of this work can be accomplished remotely. Since you will need to learn our current simulation approaches as well as the details of our physics-based models, it is likely that you would benefit from working on-site at Sonera's West Berkeley headquarters for at least the first few weeks of this internship.

Project 3: Software Intern – Interface and Visualization

Time commitment: 20 hours per week minimum commitment

Background: Programming experience required; Python programming, UX development, and/or hardware interfacing experience a plus!

Position Summary: In this role, you will work to develop interface software for Sonera's custom hardware, with a focus on usability and reliability. You will also develop visualization and analysis toolchains that can be run on collected data to assist the hardware team in understanding and optimizing device performance. You will own the full software stack – developing a solution that combines hardware-level control with graphical user interfaces.

Location and remote work: Due to its software focus, much of this work can be accomplished remotely. Since your software will be interfacing directly with custom hardware, you will need to occasionally run tests on real hardware – located either at Sonera's West Berkeley headquarters, Berkeley campus, or LBNL.

Project 4: Market Research

Time commitment: 5 hours per week minimum commitment (10 hours preferred)

Background: Ability to do market research using resources available online and on campus. Previous experience with market sizing/analysis and competitive research preferred.

Position Summary: In this role, you will analyze relevant markets for Sonera's technology (brain monitoring, AR/VR, heart sensing, etc.) and will categorize by product type, procedure, application, industry, and region to provide Sonera with an overview of the current state of existing markets. In addition, you will analyze any major barriers to entry (regulation, policy, etc.). You will also research and summarize profiles of competitors in relevant markets. Finally, you will perform a literature survey of state-of-the-art brain-computer interface technologies and use cases in both academic and commercial settings. You will compile the results from the research into a summary report for Sonera's use.

Location and remote work: This project can be accomplished remotely, including meetings with the Sonera team.


Specific work sample or other application requirement: Please provide inks to any independent projects (or class projects) that show that you're capable of tackling large problems independently and effectively!

SEPION TECHNOLOGIES

About Sepion Technologies
Sepion Technologies is an advanced membrane startup dedicated to enabling mass electrification of human mobility and accelerating the transition to 100% renewable energy power by commercializing groundbreaking battery materials. Are you passionate about the energy revolution? Join us to contribute to positive change in a fun, team-oriented environment. More information is available here: https://www.sepiontechnologies.com

Available Projects

Research Intern  Cell Engineering 

  • 20 hours per week minimum commitment
  • Background – Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry
  • Workflow – You will be trained in a variety of new techniques including: building Li-ion and Li-metal batteries, safe handling of energetic materials, electrochemistry, and battery data interpretation. The data you generate will be shared across the company, particularly with the Materials Expertise Team in order to rapidly optimize membrane formulations for our customers.

Research Intern – Synthetic Chemist

  • 20 hours per week minimum commitment
  • Background – Chemistry, Materials Science
  • Workflow – You will work closely with PhD chemists synthesizing new polymer products as the key ingredients in our proprietary ion-selective membranes. You may also be involved in fabricating thin film membranes with these polymers which will then be incorporated into batteries. Feedback from our Battery Expertise Team on the performance of these materials will help guide the next iteration of material optimization.

Location: work will be conducted at Sepion's headquarters in Emeryville and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab; onsite work is mandatory.

Is remote work possible? Limited. This is a lab-focused internship. Approximate weekly time commitment (for each academic year project): minimum of 20 hours per week, more is preferred; consider this an extended interview for a full time job offer. We like to hire our interns.

Any specific type of work sample or other application requirement? Show that you take initiative, are accountable, pay attention to detail, and are enthusiastic about the energy revolution! Technical experience relevant to the Project Descriptions is preferred but not necessary.

TAKACHAR

About Takachar
Takachar is a current Cyclotron Road company at Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Takachar is an MIT spinout company started by an MIT PKG Public Service alum Kevin Kung. The company's vision is to expand the amount of biomass (crop and forest residues) economically converted into useful products. Our impacts include income and job creation in rural areas, as well as mitigation of CO2 emission and air pollution associated with conventional open-air biomass residue burning. We are interested in engaging 1-2 undergraduate students part-time for the following project. 

Summary
Starting in summer 2020, we will be building and testing a demonstration-scale prototype. We are seeking a project engineer to coordinate this effort. Initially, the engineer will assist in design, fabrication, and assembly of the prototype by working alongside our manufacturing subcontractors. Then, the engineer will assist in testing the prototype, first in a laboratory setting, and then in the field (at a logging site in a forest). In the latter stage of the project, you should be prepared to work in a rural environment (in California) under resource-constrained settings. We are open both to a short-term summer/winter intern position or a longer-term part-time semester-long engagement.

Prior experience with SolidWorks, design for manufacturing, control systems, and reactor testing will be helpful. A project website (if you have one) will help us gauge your experience.