CSS has developed an innovative internship program that combines its research activities with the development of future professionals. The Sustainable Systems Internship Program provides graduate and undergraduate students with opportunities to perform quality work and gain practical experience enabling them to assist their future employers in making more informed decisions in the following areas:

  • Sustainable development
  • Industrial ecology
  • Renewable energy & materials
  • Life cycle assessment, design and management
  • Pollution prevention

As a CSS intern, students have the opportunity to work directly with a corporate, governmental or non-profit sponsor institution. Past sponsors include 3M, American Automobile Manufacturers Association, Champion International Corporation, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, E.B. Eddy Paper Corporation, Federal Railroad Administration, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Guardian Industries, Mead Publishing Paper Division, MI Department of Environmental Quality, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Optical Imaging Systems, Rock-Tenn Corporation, Steelcase, Stone Container Corporation, U.S. EPA and the Xerox Corporation.

To view a list of past internships, click on Intern Roster.

2022 Positions

Bookmark this page and check back periodically for any new postings.

Posting Number: CSS 2022-06- OPEN 

 

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Analysis of the demographic impacts of nuclear fuel cycle facilities 

Advisors: Aditi Verma, Gabrielle Hoelzle, and Todd Allen

Project description: The Fastest Path to Zero initiative is seeking a motivated undergraduate research assistant to build on an ongoing analysis of the demographic impacts of nuclear fuel cycle facilities in the US. 

Preliminary analysis carried out by the Fastest Path team shows the differential impacts of extractive facilities (uranium mills and mines) on host communities of these facilities. For example, this analysis shows that extractive facilities have typically been sited in counties that have high percentages of Native American, Latino, and Hispanic populations at the time of siting and the percentage of white populations in these communities have fallen in the decades following facility siting, while the percentages of Native American, Hispanic, Latino, and Black populations have increased over time in these same counties.  This trend, as well as others revealed through this analysis, indicate that the siting of both extractive and energy generation facilities may have heightened existing inequities along racial and socioeconomic lines within and across communities over time. We aim to build on this initial analysis to include waste management facilities, research facilities such as the national labs, as well as cleanup sites. 

Nuclear reactor developers as well as policymakers are actively considering where and how to site future nuclear energy and fuel cycle facilities, and the results of such an analysis can not only inform siting policy decisions in this pivotal moment for the nuclear energy sector but also identify and repair existing inequities created by the nuclear energy sector over its trajectory of development. Further, the results may also provide guidance to renewable energy technology companies who are embarking on a major energy transition with significant extraction requirements.

If you are interested, please send an email to Aditi Verma aditive@umich.edu along with your CV/resume, a writing sample, and a brief note describing your interest in design research.

Prerequisites: A strong interest in the technology-policy intersection and interest in interdisciplinary research is ideal. Familiarity with programming and statistical analysis is desirable but not required. Students in any year of study are encouraged to apply. This is a paid position for up to forty hours per week for 12 weeks over the summer and continuing into the Fall as a part time position. 
 

GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY (undergraduate students may also apply)

Participatory Design of Clean Energy Infrastructure

The successful decarbonization of energy systems requires the development and use of a broad range of energy technologies – solar, wind, nuclear, energy storage, and potentially hydrogen and biofuels. No one technology alone can ensure the successful and timely decarbonization of energy systems. If future carbon-neutral systems are to be planned for and developed in equitable and resilient ways, community engagement and input is needed from the earliest stages of planning and development for all technologies, and not just a subset of the above.

A new research project tackling this problem has formed and is seeking a research assistant to start this summer and potentially continue into the fall for a project on equitable design in decarbonization.

In this project we will draw on prior work on participatory and inclusive design to aid the development of a new participatory design methodology for clean energy technologies. The research assistant will work closely with an interdisciplinary team of researchers made up of Dr. Aditi Verma, Dr. Sarah Mills, and Professors Robert Goodspeed, Lisa DuRussel,Geoffrey Thun, and Todd Allen.

If you are interested, please send an email to Sean O’Connor spoconno@umich.edu along with your CV/resume, a writing sample, and a brief note describing your interest in design research. Pay for this position will range from $20-25/hr for a masters student commensurate with research experience. Undergraduate students may also apply. Thank you.

Minimum qualifications/requirements

-   A strong interest in and passion for design, energy technologies, and equity (ideally all three!)

-   Currently pursuing a MS (or BS) in any field

-   Demonstrate strong communication skills

-   Demonstrate ability to critically analyze scientific literature

-   Demonstrate proficiency in writing

Preferred skills (but not required)

-   Previous experience with conducting literature reviews

-   Previous experience with qualitative or mixed-methods research

-   Previous design experience(s) in any domain of design

Typical responsibilities (including but not limited to)

-   Conduct literature reviews

-   Conduct interviews with design and community partners

-   Perform administrative tasks relating to maintenance of interview and observation data

-   Analyze interview and observation data

 

Posting Number: CSS 2022-05- Closed

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Location:Remote
Supervisor: Parth Vaishnav

Description: Prof. Parth Vaishnav is seeking students to assist during a two-day virtual conference on Justice40 and Equitable Deep Decarbonization. The conference will convene and engage academic institutions, agency officials, and community groups working on Justice40 goals and implementation. The duties will consist of detailed note taking during assigned panels and sessions. Students should be available to assist during the virtual event on May 11th and 12th, 12:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET. Students will also be asked to edit and compile their notes after the conference. Assistants will be compensated at a rate of $15/hr. The assignment is expected to take 12-16 hours.

Job Duties:

Detailed notetaking during assigned panels and sessions
Editing and compilation of notes after the conference

Qualifications: Students should be available to assist during the virtual event on May 11th and 12th, 12:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET.

Internship Pay: $15/hour

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 1, 2022 or until filled
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled
TERM: May 11th and 12th, 12:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET.

Apply Now

OR visit: https://forms.gle/29L4wWhyL9vzrJ6XA and complete the on-line form, including attachment of resume and transcripts. No other information (e.g., a cover letter) is required.

Please use the following file naming convention:  Lastname_Firstname_RESUME or Lastname_Firstname_TRANSCRIPT.


Internship Posting Number: 2022-04- Closed

Sponsor: Center for Sustainable Systems
Location: UM Central Campus (POSSIBLY REMOTE)
Intern Supervisor: Parth Vaishnav

Description: Professor Parth Vaishnav seeks one to two students to conduct a literature review in order to assist in preparing a research proposal on climate adaptation and mitigation measures that also account for infrastructure interdependencies. The students will be asked to summarize the findings and methods of papers on these topics. To get them started, students will be given 15-20 pre-identified articles. Students should be available to start immediately, and should expect to spend 10-20 hours a week for the rest of the term.

Job Duties: 

  • Spend 10-20 hours a week reviewing relevant literature
  • Meet weekly with supervisors to discuss their findings and get feedback 

Qualifications: Students should be available to start immediately and work 10-20 hours for the remainder of the Winter '22 term. They should have graduate standing in either SEAS or the College of Engineering. Preference will be given to students who are either completing the dual degree in Engineering Sustainable Systems or in the Sustainable Systems specialization track. 

Internship Pay: Pay ranges from $20-$25 per hour, depending on experience. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 1, 2022 or until filled
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled
TERM: Immediately - April 30, 2022 (or some portion thereof)

Apply Now

OR visit: https://forms.gle/jTEMdo2912GCogcK8 and complete the on-line form, including attachment of resume and transcripts. No other information (e.g., a cover letter) is required.

Please use the following file naming convention:  Lastname_Firstname_RESUME or Lastname_Firstname_TRANSCRIPT.


Internship Posting Number:  2022-03: Closed

Project Title: Life Cycle Assessment of Reduced Consumption
Sponsor: Center for Sustainable Systems
Location: UM Central Campus (POSSIBLY REMOTE)
Intern Supervisor: Shelie Miller

Description: This research internship will provide experience in using life cycle assessment (LCA) for a variety of projects.  The primary project will entail comparing the environmental benefits of reduced consumption across a variety of sectors (i.e. transportation, electricity, food, clothing, goods) versus consuming “green” alternatives at similar quantities.  The purpose of the project will be to highlight the importance of eliminating over-consumption habits.  The intern will be responsible for compiling LCA inventory data across a variety of sectors, analyzing the results, and drafting a manuscript for publication. In addition to the main project, there will be an opportunity to collaborate with other LCA researchers and contribute to a number of ongoing projects that include estimating the environmental impacts of food waste throughout supply chains, assessing the benefits and consequences of plastic packaging, and investigating the urban-rural sustainability divide.  The internship can be part or full-time (up to 40 hours per week), with an overall scope of work determined accordingly.

Job Duties: 

  • Using SimaPro and the academic literature to compile life cycle inventory data across a variety of consumption sectors
  • Comparing scenarios associated with adopting green alternatives to a particular activity versus reducing consumption of that activity.
  • Preparing a manuscript for publication, including graphic representations of the results
  • Collaborating on other, ongoing LCA projects as needed

Qualifications: 

Interns must have graduate standing in Sustainable Systems, Environmental Science, Civil, Chemical, Environmental or Mechanical Engineering, or Corporate Environmental Management with an interest in Sustainability. Completion of Industrial Ecology course (EAS557/CEE586) is highly desirable. Candidate must be well organized, with strong Excel skills and the ability to synthesize multiple data sets. Candidate must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. 

Internship Pay: Pay ranges from $18-$20 per hour, depending on experience. Up to 40 hours per week, with part-time arrangements available. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 1, 2022 or until filled
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled
TERM: May 1-August 26, 2022 (or some portion thereof)

Apply Now

OR visit: https://forms.gle/QyMBvgcXprmwvjM19 and complete the on-line form, including attachment of resume and transcripts. If you wish to include an optional cover letter, please combine it with your resume document.

Please use the following file naming convention:  Lastname_Firstname_RESUME or Lastname_Firstname_TRANSCRIPT. Failure to follow this naming convention will render your application ineligible.


Internship Posting Number:  2022-01: Closed

Sponsor: The Center for Sustainable Systems
Location: UM Central Campus (POSSIBLY REMOTE)

Description:
The Center for Sustainable Systems has a SUMMER INTERN position available for a graduate student in Sustainability Science or Engineering.

Job Duties:

  • Update our current suite of 29 Factsheets on the sustainability of various systems that meet human needs by conducting research to gather data on the current patterns of use, environmental impacts and sustainable alternatives.
  • Develop new Factsheet(s) on Ecosystem Services, Water:Energy Nexus, or Land Use.
  • Create and update “Did You Know?” highlights for website.
  • Create content for social media postings.

Qualifications:

Intern must have graduate standing in Sustainable Systems, Environmental Science, Civil, Chemical, Environmental or Mechanical Engineering, or Corporate Environmental Management with an interest in Sustainability. Completion of Industrial Ecology course (EAS557/CEE586) is highly desirable. Candidate must be well organized, with attention to detail. Candidate must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. Prior database, spreadsheet, and Adobe InDesign experience are desired.

Internship Pay:  Pay ranges from $16 - $20 per hour, depending on grade level and experience. Up to 40 hours per week.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 17, 2022
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled
TERM: May 2 - August 26, 2022
 


Internship Posting Number:  2022-02: Closed

Sponsor: The Wege Foundation
Location: Steelcase, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI or perhaps REMOTE

Description:
The Sustainability Department of Steelcase, Inc. has a SUMMER INTERN position available. The intern will be working on the Energy, Climate & Renewables team and will focus on supporting priorities of this functional area. The goal of this internship experience is to provide the student with a practical perspective of the opportunities and challenges in driving sustainability efforts in the corporate world. Projects may include:

  • Managing annual CDP reporting process and publishing progress against Steelcase’s 50% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2030
  • Providing content to address the recommendations of the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in Steelcase’s annual Impact Report
  • Exploring energy conservation measures at global facilities with discrete opportunities and challenges
  • Supporting waste reduction and recycling research and implementation as needed to progress against 14% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2030.
  • Supporting business travel research and implementation as needed to progress against 14% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2030.
  • Engaging with supply chain to encourage partner organizations to set their own science-based targets by 2025, tracking progress against this target, and developing incentive frameworks to motivate progress
  • Interfacing cross functionally with many departments to support strategy implementation and data collection efforts
  • Performing data collection and in some cases, data entry for global facilities’ metrics which are eventually referenced in external reporting (e.g., published in Impact Report)
  • Calculating value chain emissions from varying methodologies including those using life cycle data and coefficients

Qualifications:

Candidate must have graduate standing in School for Environment and Sustainability or the Erb Institute for Sustainability in Business with a passion for corporate sustainability. Completion of Industrial Ecology course (EAS557/CEE586) is helpful. The candidate must be well organized and must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. Having experience with and a passion for complex data and calculation methodologies is essential. Having experience with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Protocol is ideal. Problem solving skills are essential. Due to the nature of the work and the physical location flexibility, being a self-starter and independent is highly valued.

Internship Pay:  Stipend up to $4,000 per month, depending on grade level and experience.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 17, 2022
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled
TERM: May 2 - August 26, 2022