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Cleantech Interns UNC Cleantech Corner


This year, opportunities for students to professionally interact with cleantech companies has significantly increased. The rise in cleantech startups, increased virtual opportunities, new initiatives with established renewable energy companies and momentum within the NC clean energy economy have helped to drive the need for student interns.

Please contact Greg Gangi for more information.

An Internship & Career Discussion with Dominion Energy

This IE Cleantech Corner virtual program was produced in collaboration with our partner group, the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster. The program features Staffing Specialist Hillary Hall and Renewable Energy Project Manager Gina Weis at Dominion Energy. In this video, our guest speakers provide an overview of sustainability initiatives at Dominion Energy, information on current internship opportunities, and career opportunities with guidance on the application process.


Internet of Things: NC RIoT

[Offered in the fall and spring semesters. Fall 2020 slots have been filled.]

Students will participate in the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) which advances Internet of Things projects across industries through an intensive high-touch program. Students will be matched with a startup to support with project-based work. And students will participate in the RAP educational programming and mentoring sessions alongside the startups to get the full accelerator experience. Workshop sessions will be Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Startup teams leverage RIoT’s network to learn, collaborate, and bring products to market.

RAP increases the impact of traditional accelerator programming by connecting project teams with an industry consortium of more than 80 companies across our global IoT ecosystem.

Cleantech Corner Internship NC RiOT

RAP project manages teams through a 12-week curriculum and hands-on mentoring that covers three phases of project validation and development:

  • Validation:Pursuing problem/solution fit and product/market fit through customer discovery and crafting key performance metrics. This often includes market exploration, business pivot, or concept development of new offering (new top line revenue opportunity, or new way to engage with customers).
  • Product Development and Business Development:This includes education, resources and advising on all parts of the IoT technology stack and key emerging markets. And, coaching on business models, go-to-market strategy, sales, marketing and partnerships will be ongoing.
  • Growth Strategy:Rigorous pitch and storytelling training with a focus on meeting defined milestones that are specific to each startup team. This phase prepares teams for market launch or intensive spin up of sales cycle/marketing/fundraising/manufacturing, etc.


Sustainability: Smart Surface Coalition

[Offered in the fall and/or spring semesters.]

This program provides year-long or half-year virtual internships with the Smart Surfaces Coalition, a nonprofit organization of 40 partners such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Public Health Association, the National League of Cities, the International Downtown Association, and TERI (in India). The Coalition has developed an integrated, coordinated strategy to drive rapid city adoption of smart surfaces city-wide, initially in the US, India, and Southern Europe. Smart surfaces include highly reflective surfaces, porous surfaces, green roofs, solar PV, trees, and integrated solutions. City-wide adoption of smart surfaces can deliver an ~ 10-15% reduction in global warming, and cool cites by 1C per decade through 2050, with the largest cooling, health and other benefits accruing in low-income areas.

Interns will work very closely with Coalition staff on a range of tasks including:

  • Working with client cities on smart surfaces cost benefit mapping
  • Researching and drafting analysis related to urban smart surfaces
  • Undertaking client research related to US, European, Indian, or South American cities and smart surfaces
  • Working with multilateral development banks to include smart surfaces into lending programs.
  • Working with congressional staff to incorporate smart surfaces into infrastructure bills
  • Collaborating with Coalition partner organizations on various Coalition and/or partner projects

Smart Surfaces Coalition Internship Cleantech Corner UNC


Successful candidates will have the following attributes:

  • Ability to write clearly and to concisely communicate complex ideas
  • Well organized and self-motivated
  • Work well in teams while also being able to take initiative to develop or complete projects
  • Is numerate, comfortable with data and data modeling
  • Cares deeply about the climate/environment and is keen to be part of a major solution to climate change
  • Specific skills such as data modeling, GIS, or language skills (e.g. Spanish, German, Hindi) are useful additional attributes, but are not required.


Additional internships offered through IE include the Pavel Molchanov Scholars Program

Offered during the summer semesters. Applications for 2021 due by March 1, 2021

This summer internship program provides UNC undergraduate students with paid opportunities for hand-on learning and training with companies and firms that operate within the environmental sciences discipline, to include clean energy. It focuses on placing students with small businesses, non-profit organizations and government institutions in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Learn more about the Pavel Molchanov Scholars Program. Applications for 2021 will open in January. Contact Michael Piehler with any additional questions.

Environmental Internships Cleantech Corner UNC Pavel Molchanov