Opportunities with Cal-RAE and New Sun Road

2015 was a busy and exciting year for the BERC group Cal-RAE and its partners. Cal-RAE is a multidisciplinary research group of students and industry partners with the goal of developing technical and financial solutions to serve the 1.1 billion people in the world living without access to electricity.

In April, Cal-RAE was selected as one of 5 organizations to participate in the inaugural launch of the Berkeley Crowdfunding initiative to help fund a solar microgrid project on an island in Lake Victoria, Uganda. Cal-RAE members gained experience in branding, fundraising, and outreach through the successful crowdfunding campaign, surpassing the goal of $15,000.

In November, working with industry partners New Sun Road (a UC Berkeley based startup developing solar microgrids), Cal-RAE led the expansion of the Uganda microgrid project, bringing 24/7 electricity access to 15 new businesses while developing and field testing new electricity metering and WiFi provision modules. Some pictures from the field are available on the Cal-RAE Facebook page. With multiple visits to Uganda in 2015, Cal-RAE is developing a solid relationship with the communities on the islands in Lake Victoria that is laying the foundation for continued meaningful research opportunities.

In California, students have been working on lifecycle assessment of the energy returns and environmental impacts of off-grid solar power systems, power conversion modeling and simulation for alternative microgrid architectures, and multidisciplinary assessment of technology impacts in rural developing economies. There are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with these projects. Please contact Cal-RAE if interested (information on BERC page).

Cal-RAE partner New Sun Road has had a big year as well. In addition to gaining traction with projects in East Africa and Southeast Asia, New Sun Road was accepted to the UC Berkley CITRIS Foundry startup incubator. New Sun Road is actively seeking paid (full-time engineering) and unpaid student interns in engineering, marketing, and business development. Course credit is available for qualified UC Berkeley interns.

Internship opportunities include:

  • Software development: Mobile app development and real-time power system monitoring tools
  • Prepay electricity management and development
  • Fundraising and grant writing
  • Data analysis on smart meter data, power production, performance logs, etc. to inform maintenance and future design
  • Social media, marketing, and online presence
  • Monitoring microgrid performance
  • Product design: Wireless communications and electric power systems. Needs range from the business (market assessment, revenue projections, strategy) to engineering (design, prototyping, and testing)

New Sun Road will be hiring several new positions throughout 2016, and interns who demonstrate strong motivation, initiative, and willingness to learn and grow will be given priority consideration as these positions open. Individuals with a background in solar energy systems, data analytics, international development, finance, or sales and marketing are also encouraged to contact New Sun Road about full time positions.

If interested please submit a brief description of your interests and availability, as well as a current CV listing your relevant experience and education to info@newsunroad.com.