For the fourth summer in a row, Rensselaer undergraduate students spent eight weeks at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) learning about solid-state lighting and investigating technology and application issues. The LRC’s summer undergraduate research internship, sponsored by the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), provides an opportunity for engineering, architecture, and science students to learn from LRC experts about research into the latest lighting technologies and controls.

InternSolid-state lighting (SSL), including LED and OLED technologies, their associated controls, and now their connection to the internet of things (IoT), is a quickly evolving market. SSL is already known to save energy, reduce costs, and provide flexible, innovative application and fixture designs. Through the LRC research internship, student interns get in-depth, hands-on experience with SSL and conduct short research projects on topics related to the direction that the technology is moving. During the eight weeks, students are busy with experiment design, apparatus and prototype building, and preparing a final presentation to the corporate sponsors of the ASSIST program.

“The ASSIST-sponsored internship is a great opportunity for students to receive mentorship in a research and career field that they may not be aware of, as well as a chance to present their work to organizations that may hire them in the future,” said Nadarajah Narendran, the LRC’s director of research and organizer of the ASSIST program and internship.

The research projects conducted this summer included developing a metric to assess stroboscopic flicker in LED lighting systems, evaluating the benefits of task lighting for load-shedding applications, and characterizing of thermal interface materials under thermal cycling. Also, in the area of connected lighting systems, two students investigated wireless methods for luminaire location mapping and real-time monitoring, and sensor communication protocol requirements for interfacing with real-time monitoring systems.

“Each year the student interns we hire stay busy and do an excellent job at getting up to speed, developing their projects, and presenting their research to the ASSIST sponsors in just a short amount of time, thanks to the intensive mentoring from LRC staff,” said Narendran.

Applications for the 2017 summer internship will be available next January. Click here for more information.