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Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP)

2016 Summer Internship Opportunities

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)

Low Viscosity Composite Fluids for Fuel Efficiency

DOE-MSIPP-16-11-ANL

The successful candidate should have a science background in mechanical engineering, material sciences, physics or chemistry. Previous experience in operating laboratory equipment and materials characterization is preferred. The research project will focus on the investigation of the tribological properties of materials, coatings, and lubricants. Topics include: reduction in parasitic losses in engines, gears for wind turbines, studies of chemical boundary films, nanoparticles for lubrication enhancement, and use of hard coating for wear protection.

Colloidal Lubricant Systems for Fuel Economy and Durability of Mechanical Components

DOE-MSIPP-16-12-ANL

The successful candidate should have a science background in mechanical engineering, material sciences, physics or chemistry. Previous experience in operating laboratory equipment and materials characterization is preferred. The research project will focus on investigation of the tribological properties of materials and lubricants. Topics include: reduction in parasitic losses in engines, gears for wind turbines, studies of chemical boundary films, nanoparticles for lubrication enhancement, and use of hard coating for wear protection.

Producing Pipeline-quality Renewable Methane via Anaerobic Digestion of Waste

DOE-MSIPP-16-13-ANL

The successful candidates should be one undergraduate senior and one graduate student in chemical or environmental engineering. The undergraduate student should have knowledge and experience in bioreactor design and operation, process modeling, and techno-economic analysis. The graduate student should have considerable knowledge and skills in fermenters, bioreactors, molecular biology, systems biology, renewable fuel production processes, bacteria characterization, process modeling and techno-economic analysis. The research project will focus on the enhancement of anaerobic digestion of biosolids generated at wastewater treatment plants to produce renewable methane at economically useful compositions.

Testing the Uptake Pathway of Mercury by Bacteria Used for Mercury Methylation

DOE-MSIPP-16-14-ANL

The successful candidate will be a junior or senior undergraduate studying biochemistry. Previous experience in basic biochemistry laboratory techniques and protein expression/purification is preferred. The research project will focus on testing the uptake pathway of mercury by bacteria used for mercury methylation. Specifically this will involve testing the expression of two proteins hypothesized to have involvement with mercury binding.

Consolidated Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

DOE-MSIPP-16-15-ANL

The successful candidate should be familiar with environmental science, technology, human health, biology/biochemistry and engineering concepts. The ability to conduct literature searches, critically review material, integrate data and synthesize information is preferred. The research project will focus on conducting scientific and engineering literature reviews for information about environmental considerations for constructing a new facility to store radioactive fuel from nuclear power plants.

Reducing Mercury Exposures from Artisanal Gold Shops

DOE-MSIPP-16-16-ANL

The successful candidate should be familiar with environmental science, technology, human health, biology/biochemistry and engineering concepts. The ability to conduct literature searches, critically review material, integrate data and synthesize information is preferred. The research project will focus on conducting scientific and engineering literature reviews for information about best practices for reducing mercury releases to air during gold processing in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

Citizen Science for Environmental Health

DOE-MSIPP-16-17-ANL

The successful candidate should be familiar with environmental chemistry, environmental engineering, human health, and biology/biochemistry concepts. The ability to conduct literature searches, critically review material, integrate data and synthesize information is preferred. The research project will focus on conducting scientific and engineering literature reviews for information about portable sensors, used as a part of a technology toolkit to help citizens understand the opportunities for monitoring their environments to promote environmental awareness and health.

Experimental Investigations of Contacting Surfaces and Material/Lubrication Response

DOE-MSIPP-16-18-ANL

The successful candidate should have an engineering background, preferably in mechanical, materials, chemical or another relevant field. Previous laboratory experience, including results analysis and report preparation is preferred. The research project will focus on experimental investigations of contacting surfaces and the material/lubrication response in vehicle technology and wind energy. Specifically one project may include the investigation of wind turbine bearing reliability.

Silicon Nanostructures by Metal Assisted Etching

DOE-MSIPP-16-19-ANL

The successful candidate should have some chemistry knowledge and experience working with chemicals. The research project will focus on incorporating Fresnel zone plates into metal-assisted chemical etching to fabricate silicon nanostructures. Specifically this will involve learning basic chemistry for metal-assisted etching, the optical lithography system, etching process optimization, and process characterization.

Field Data Collection and Data Analysis for Ecosystems Functions Research

DOE-MSIPP-16-40-ANL

The successful candidate should be studying ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, plant biology, plant ecology, or a related field, and have an interest in vegetation sciences. The research project will focus on assisting with the EcoSpec project, which aims to examine the interactions between vegetation and near-surface atmosphere-biosphere for better climate change modeling. Specifically this will involve correcting ecological and environmental field data, data organization, and preliminary data analysis.

Plant Fluorescence and Leaf Chemistry Data Collection

DOE-MSIPP-16-41-ANL

The successful candidate will be studying ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, or a related field. The research project will focus on measuring photosynthesis and fluorescence at the leaf-scale in the field and measuring leaf chemistry in the laboratory. Specifically this will involve using a portable photosynthesis system, fluorometer, and a new canopy-scale fluorescence measurement system in the field.

Understanding the Food-Energy-Water Nexus’ Effect on Women through GIS

DOE-MSIPP-16-42-ANL

The successful candidate should have some knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS), as well as an interest in the food-energy-water nexus and sustainability. The research project will focus on conducting geospatial data searches in identified case study areas, of the direct effect of the food-water-energy nexus on women. Specifically this will involve geospatial data searches on land use, agriculture use and type, surface water, energy generation, demographics, and other related areas.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL)

Data Analysis and Computational Modeling for Waste Vitrification

DOE-MSIPP16-20-INL

The successful candidate should be an undergraduate or graduate student studying a STEM discipline, with a particular focus on mathematics, physics, computer science, mechanical engineering or chemical engineering. Previous experience with computer software and numerical modeling techniques such as MATLAB, Photoshop, DREAM.3D, CFD and CAD is preferred. Minimum 3.5 GPA is required. The research project will focus on the development of a multiphysics model of a waste glass melter. Specifically this will address the remediation of legacy tank waste at the Hanford site.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

Environmental Performance Assessment of DOE Waste Facilities

DOE-MSIPP-16-04-LANL

The successful candidate should be a graduate student studying hydrology, geology, environmental sciences, civil engineering or chemical engineering. Previous experience in data assessment, modeling and Microsoft Excel is required. The research project will focus on the environmental performance assessment of a DOE waste facility, through the analysis of the environmental transport pathways that make buried low-level waste accessible to humans and the environment.

Impact of Climate Change and Drought on Tree Mortality

DOE-MSIPP-16-05-LANL

The successful candidate should be interested or studying climate, ecology, biology, physiology or a related field. Previous experience in laboratory or field setting and a close attention to detail is preferred. The research project will focus on the impact of climate change on plants, particularly tree mortality during drought. Specifically this will involve measurement of forest stress and death in both the field and laboratory, as well as computer analyses for climate models.

Monitoring the Structural Integrity of Legacy Radioactive Facilities

DOE-MSIPP-16-06-LANL

The successful candidate should be studying electrical or mechanical engineering. Previous experience with CAD, mechatronics and fabrication is required. The research project will focus on building a demonstration of a steerable needle for use in monitoring the structural integrity of legacy radioactive facilities. Specifically this will involve creating a 3D maze from clear plastic tubing and guiding the steerable needle through the maze using a roller-drive system.

Environmental Sciences and Engineering Project Compliance

DOE-MSIPP-16-07-LANL

The successful candidate should be a graduate student studying environmental science, environmental engineering, soil science or hydrology. Previous experience using databases to track and trend data, as well as experience in field work is preferred. The project will focus on supporting the Laboratory’s Environmental Protection Division-Water Quality Permitting and Compliance Team with regulatory compliance program activities. Specifically this will involve the development of compliance awareness documents, database entry, field inspections, and other related duties.

Environmental Sciences and Hazardous Waste Permit Compliance

DOE-MSIPP-16-08-LANL

The successful candidate should be studying environmental sciences or life sciences. The ability to assist in researching laws and regulations, good communications skills, and Microsoft Office proficiency is required. The project will focus on assisting the environmental compliance team with implementation and maintenance of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Hazardous Waste Permit. Specifically this will involve researching environmental compliance issues such as hazardous waste regulations, accompanying personnel on field assessments, and other related duties.

Quantifying Uncertainties of Flow and Transport Using Applied Math and Computer Modeling

DOE-MSIPP-16-09-LANL

The successful candidate should be a graduate student studying applied math, statistics, computational sciences or geosciences. Fluency in one or more programming languages is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on quantifying uncertainties of flow and contaminant transport in subsurface due to the uncertainty of material interfaces among hydrostratigraphic units. Specifically this will involve mathematical derivations of stochastic flow/transport equations, numerical implementation, code verification and manuscript publication.

Facility Energy Consumption Based on Thermodynamics and Air Flow

DOE-MSIPP-16-10-LANL

The successful candidate should be an undergraduate student studying mechanical, electrical, environmental or sustainability engineering, and have an interest in fluid dynamics, physical equipment, and temperature control. Previous experience in CAD or Sketch-up is preferred but not necessary. The research project will focus on benchmarking facility energy consumption based on thermodynamics and air flow measurements integrating building automation systems with mechanical equipment. Specifically this will involve the review of mechanical and electrical drawings to understand how building automation will interface with climate control conditions.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Evaluating Performance of Sorbents to Limit Mercury Release from Soil

DOE-MSIPP-16-21-ORNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate studying chemistry, geochemistry, geology, microbiology, environmental science, environmental engineering, civil engineering or hydrology. Previous experience in a laboratory environment is strongly preferred. Minimum GPA of 3.0+ is required. The research project will focus on conducting laboratory-scale and meso-scale experiments to evaluate the performance of sorbents to limit the release of mercury from contaminated soil and sediments. Specifically this will involve data collection and analysis, interpretation, and publication of experimental results.

Mechanistic Understanding of Hydrated Surface Layer Formation at the Solid-Fluid Interface

DOE-MSIPP-16-22-ORNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate studying material sciences, physics, physical chemistry, chemistry, geochemistry, mineralogy or microbiology. Previous experience in a laboratory environment is strongly preferred. Minimum GPA of 3.0+ is required. The research project will focus on conducting dissolution experiments involving the weathering of aluminosilicate minerals and glasses under alkaline conditions. Specifically this will involve data collection and analysis, interpretation and publication of experimental results.

Studying Mercury Fate and Transport in a Small Contaminated Stream

DOE-MSIPP-16-23-ORNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate studying chemistry, geochemistry, geology, microbiology, environmental science, environmental engineering, civil engineering or hydrology. Previous experience in a laboratory environment is strongly preferred. Minimum GPA of 3.0+ is required. The research project will focus on supporting field-scale studies of mercury fate and transport in a small contaminated stream system by collecting and analyzing water and sediment samples. Specifically this will involve data collection and analysis, interpretation and publication of experimental results.

Forming Zinc and Mercury Sulfide Crystals Over a Range of Geochemical Conditions

DOE-MSIPP-16-24-ORNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate studying chemistry, geochemistry, geology, mineralogy, environmental science, soil chemistry or civil engineering. Previous experience in a laboratory environment is strongly preferred. Minimum GPA of 3.0+ is required. The research project will focus on conducting lab-scale experiments to form Zinc and Mercury sulfide crystals over a range of geochemical conditions. Specifically this will involve data collection and analysis, interpretation and publication of experimental results.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Extending the Use of Biogeophysical Tools to Monitor Microbial Activity Change

DOE-MSIPP-16-33-PNNL

The successful candidate will be studying biology, microbiology, biogeophysics, environmental engineering, or a related scientific discipline. The research project will focus on extending the use of geophysical tools to monitor changes associated with microbial activity in saturated media. Specifically this will involve setting up Hanford sediments columns, quantifying the interaction of co-contaminants, analyzing biogeochemical signatures and utilizing bio-geophysical tools.

Understanding the Biogeochemistry of Radionuclide and Metal-reducing Bacteria

DOE-MSIPP-16-34-PNNL

The successful candidate will be studying microbiology, geochemistry, environmental engineering, or a related scientific discipline. Previous laboratory experience in a microbiology laboratory is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on sequencing and annotating genes of radionuclide and metal-reducing bacteria to construct metabolic models. Specifically this will involve using genome assembly tools such as Linux-based A5-miseq assembly pipeline, MetAMOS, and BASys.

Determining the Health and Stability of Microbial Communities at the Hanford Site

DOE-MSIPP-16-35-PNNL

The successful candidate will be studying biology, microbiology, environmental studies, or a related scientific discipline. The research project will focus on determining the health and stability and radioactive iodine biotransformation rates within the microbial communities at the Hanford site in Washington state. Specifically this will involve the isolation and sequencing of organisms present in the microbial community within the deep vadose zone and groundwater, and monitoring the iodine transformations within bacteria.

Validating Deposition Models for the Transportation of Radiological Waste Slurries

DOE-MSIPP-16-36-PNNL

The successful candidate will be a senior undergraduate studying chemical or mechanical engineering, or a related scientific discipline. The research project will focus on validating the Poloski model for slurry handling against all available deposition data, including recent non-Newtonian slurry deposition assessments and the historic data for the Oroskar-Turian correlation. Specifically this will involve conducting a literature survey to collect available deposition data, and assessing the Poloski method in predicting deposition velocity.

Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments of Lead Arsenate in Soil at the Hanford Site

DOE-MSIPP-16-37-PNNL

The successful candidate will be a senior undergraduate studying agriculture, soil science, biology, wildlife management, chemistry, environmental science, civil engineering, environmental engineering or a related scientific discipline. The research project will focus on conducting an ecological risk assessment of the primary and secondary receptors of lead arsenate pesticide residues in soil around former orchards on the Hanford Site in Washington state. Specifically this will involve conducting both field and laboratory investigations and preparing ecological risk assessment reports.

Hydrologic Modeling for Subsurface and Transport Simulations at the Hanford Site

DOE-MSIPP-16-38-PNNL

The successful candidate will be studying computer science with a core focus on programming. Previous experience in Java, C, and Eclipse scripting languages is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on developing hydrologic modeling software for use in dynamic subsurface flow and transport simulations.

Waste Processing Filter Fouling Investigation at the Hanford Site

DOE-MSIPP-16-39-PNNL

The successful candidate will be studying chemical engineering, civil engineering, or chemistry, and have an interest in fluid dynamics or mass transfer. The research project will focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of filter fouling using flow visualization for the Waste Treatment Plant at the Hanford Site in Washington state.

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL)

Analytical Spectroscopy Instrumentation for Process Control

DOE-MSIPP-16-01-SRNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate or recent graduate studying chemistry or a related scientific field. Previous experience with analytical instruments and scientific programming is preferred. The research project will focus on analytical spectroscopy instrumentation for process control and monitoring. Specifically this will involve the development of instrument calibration methods, performance testing of instrumentation and analysis, fabrication of support equipment, and preparation of scientific reports.

Influence of Bioaugmentation on Canadian Oilsands and Tailing Processing

DOE-MSIPP-16-02-SRNL

The successful candidate will be a junior or senior undergraduate student studying microbiology, biochemistry or chemistry. Previous laboratory experience in analytical chemistry, instrumentation, or biochemistry is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on understanding the influence of bioaugmentation on Canadian oilsands and tailing processing. Specifically this will involve performing a literature review, learning laboratory skills in microbiology and environmental chemistry, conducting laboratory scale experiments demonstrating bioremediation, analyzing data, and producing a report and presentation.

Understanding the Relationships among Low Level Metal Influx, Sediments and Biological Receptors

DOE-MSIPP-16-03-SRNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate or graduate student studying chemistry, biology or environmental science. Previous laboratory experience and Microsoft Suite computer skills are strongly preferred. The research project will focus on understanding and developing technologies to combat ongoing sources of pollution that affect treated sediments. Specifically this will involve conducting water quality analyses through the use of passive sampling technologies.

Software Engineering to Fix Defects in Core Unix-like Operating System Components

DOE-MSIPP-16-25-SRNL

The successful candidate will be studying computer science or a related field. Previous experience in software development, C, C++, Fortran, alternative computer languages, bug-hunting and repair is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on improving the reliability of the GNU/Linux operating system and its component projects for the U.S. Department of Energy. Specifically this will involve ensuring software used by environmental modeling organizations is up to-date, compliant, and without defects.

Radiological Contamination Mapping Using Drones in Savannah River Site Water Bodies

DOE-MSIPP-16-26-SRNL

The successful candidate will be studying electrical engineering, physics, software development, robotics, systems engineering, or a related scientific field. Previous experience in Arduino programming, route planning, GPS, robotics projects, system programming, or electrical component connecting is preferred. The research project will focus on developing a GPS-based autopilot control system that will control the navigation of a boat or other vehicle to investigate radiological contamination along water bodies in the Savannah River Site. Specifically this will involve producing a vehicle capable of following a preplanned route and reporting the measurements of contamination found along the route.

Research on the Aquatic Toxicity of Precipitation Using Indicator Organisms

DOE-MSIPP-16-27-SRNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate studying chemistry, environmental engineering, environmental science or a related scientific field. Previous experience in chemistry, biology, statistics, and toxicology courses, as well as laboratory research experience is required. The research project will focus on using indicator species to perform standard toxicology tests of precipitation from across the United States. Specifically this will involve these toxicology results to be added to current research, and correlated with other analytical parameters.

Using Passive Samplers to Measure Metal Levels in Fish and Aquatic Organisms

DOE-MSIPP-16-28-SRNL

The successful candidate will be studying environmental sciences, biology, wildlife/fisheries science, chemistry, or a related scientific field. The research project will focus on investigating the use of the passive sampler, Diffusive Gradient in Thin Films (DGT), to measure metal levels in fish and aquatic invertebrates. Specifically this will involve setting up both field and laboratory experiments, measuring metal levels using passive samplers such as DGT, harvesting and analyzing fish and aquatic organisms, conducting statistical comparisons, and other experimental tasks as needed.

National Analytical Management Program and Radiological Network Program Support

DOE-MSIPP-16-29-SRNL

The successful candidate will be studying an applied science, and preferably have experience in public health, public outreach or public relations. Previous experience with radiological laboratory protocols and statistical analyses is preferred. The project will focus on assisting the SRNL National Analytical Management Program with data collection, data management, programmatic research, public outreach and networking. Specifically this will involve collecting data and conducting a statistical review of performance testing from a variety of laboratories, designing a public networking/social media site, preparing publications and presentations, and assisting with strategic development plans for laboratory networks.

Applied Research on Mono-Methyl Mercury Reactions in Alkaline Solutions

DOE-MSIPP-16-30-SRNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate junior or senior studying chemistry, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, environmental science or a related scientific field. Previous experience in chemistry courses and laboratory research is required. The research project will focus on examining one or more techniques to remove organic mercury from alkaline high ionic strength radioactive waste solutions. Specifically this will involve determining the potential viability of the tested processes to remove mercury and quantifying kinetics to investigate the design of possible mercury removal treatment system.

Porous-medium Flow and Solute Transport Simulations of Radioactive Waste Disposal Scenarios

DOE-MSIPP16-31-SRNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate senior or graduate student studying earth science, engineering, or a related scientific field. Previous experience in Linux, high-level computer programming languages, and numerical simulation methods is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on conducting numerical simulations of porous-medium flow and solute transport phenomena for U.S. Department of Energy performance assessments of waste disposal. Specifically this will involve modifying existing or developing new finite-volume model simulations of groundwater flow, vadose zone flow, transport of radioactive chemicals through waste forms, engineered barriers, and natural systems.

Computational Modeling and Analysis Engineering of Nuclear Material Storage and Waste Facilities

DOE-MSIPP-16-32-SRNL

The successful candidate will be an undergraduate senior or graduate student studying mechanical, nuclear, or chemical engineering, with a background in thermal transport, fluid flow, and heat transfer. Previous experience with computational programs such as Computational Fluid Dynamics and ANSYS-FLUENT software is strongly preferred. The research project will focus on conducting computational and data analysis of fluid flow and heat transfer technology for the nuclear material storage and waste processing facilities at the Savannah River Site.