Student Internships

SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

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.

2020 Summer POSITIONS

We have filled all three research assistant positions at the Center for Sustainable Systems. Bookmark this page and check back periodically for any new postings for Summer 2020 internships.

INTERNSHIP POSTING NUMBER:  2020-01  [FILLED]

Sponsor: The Center for Sustainable Systems
Location: UM Central Campus

Description:
The Center for Sustainable Systems has a 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.
  • Update the Flash-based website Sustainability: Live It – Learn It that is built on these facts.
  • 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, Adobe InDesign and Flash programming experience are desired.

Internship Pay:  Pay ranges from $14 - $18 per hour, depending on grade level and experience. Up to 40 hours per week.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 24, 2020
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled [FILLED]
TERM: May 4 - August 28, 2020

 

INTERNSHIP POSTING NUMBER:  2020-02 [FILLED]

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

Description:
The Sustainability Department of Steelcase, Inc. has a position available for student in Sustainability Science or Engineering. The student will be involved in a variety of environmental management and sustainability initiatives ranging from supporting corporate regulatory compliance programs to participating in corporate sustainability initiatives. The goal of the broad-based intern 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:

  • Support regulatory compliance and permitting work for manufacturing operations
  • Work on ISO 14001 environmental management
  • Energy conservation initiatives
  • Waste reduction and recycling research and implementation
  • Interface with product development and support product design for the environment initiatives
  • Management of metrics and data collection system for for Global Environmental metrics which are also used in our Corporate Sustainability Report
  • Implementation & reporting of Steelcase’s commitment to reduce their global footprint at least 25% by 2020

Qualifications:

Intern must have graduate standing in Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Public Health or Corporate Environmental Management with a passion for corporate sustainability.  Completion of Industrial Ecology course (EAS557/CEE586) is helpful.  Must be well organized.  Must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.  Prior “big-data” experience is highly valued. Problem solving skills are mandatory.  In short, we are looking for a high-tech problem solver with a passion for helping the environment.

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

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 29, 2020
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled [FILLED]
TERM: May 4 - August 28, 2020

 

INTERNSHIP POSTING NUMBER:  2020-03 [FILLED]

Sponsor: The Center for Sustainable Systems
Location: UM Central Campus

Description:
Perceptions versus Reality - Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of the Plastic Problem

This project builds on the results of a recent study that shows that meal kits have fewer life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than similar meals purchased from the grocery store, despite having greater packaging – a study that surprises most people outside the LCA community.  Literature has shown that most consumers struggle with the concept of life cycle thinking, prioritizing the environmental impacts of packaging more than any other aspect of a product’s supply chain.  In addition, consumers’ perceptions of the environmental impacts of packaging are largely based on intuition and do not necessarily correspond to the actual environmental impact of the packaging material. The purpose of this project will be to generate data and educational tools to help improve the public’s understanding of life cycle impacts of plastics.  The project will use life cycle assessment tools to help contextualize the environmental impact of single-use plastic packaging relative to other impacts that occur throughout multiple products’ supply chains.    The research intern will gain in depth knowledge of the environmental impacts of plastics, as well as experience in life cycle assessment methods, data analysis, and generating quality infographics for public dissemination.

Job Duties:

  • Conducting a literature review of life cycle assessments of products spanning multiple sectors where there is a large presence of single-use plastics (e.g. food, health care, toys, non-durable and durable goods, etc.)
  • Synthesizing life cycle data to determine the fraction of total life cycle emissions that can generally be attributed to single-use plastics across each of these sectors
  • Working with a graphic designer to create quality infographics for public dissemination

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 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 $14 - $18 per hour, depending on grade level and experience. Up to 40 hours per week.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 15, 2020
INTERVIEWS: rolling until filled [FILLED]
TERM: May 4 - August 28, 2020

TO APPLY

Visit: http://css.umich.edu/webform/intern-application-form and complete the on-line webform 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.