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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Summer Undergraduate Internship: Economic, Sustainability & Market Analysis in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Summer Undergraduate Internship: Economic, Sustainability & Market Analysis



CO - Golden


Position Type

Intern (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado, is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The Economic, Sustainability & Market Analysis (ESMA) group integrates experimental results with detailed process models to estimate conversion costs for a range of technologies to upgrade biomass and waste feedstocks into fuels and products.

The ESMA group has a summer internship open to qualified candidates with strong analytical and writing skills, possessing a knowledge of process simulation and engineering economic analysis.

The successful candidate will support the ESMA group with the publication of analysis work done by engineers. Work will include going through existing analyses and presenting the information in the form of articles that will eventually be published in reports and peer reviewed journals. Responsibilities will include the development of a basic scientific and engineering understanding of the analyses, identification of data gaps to make the articles more complete, and working on additional analyses under the guidance of experienced engineers to fill those gaps. Additionally, the candidate will provide assistance in compiling capital cost information into a central repository, based on existing quotations established under prior analyses conducted by the team.

NREL’s intern program provides a diverse opportunity for students and recent graduates. In addition to mentorship and real, hands-on experience, students and recent graduates will participate in professional development activities that will help strengthen their technical and professional skills.


Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree granting program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Please Note: You will need to upload unofficial transcripts and a letter of recommendation as part of the application process. Currently pursuing or recently awarded a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics, and other affiliated disciplines allowing a basic understanding of the analyses. Required abilities will include good comprehension of technical material and translation of the material into good quality writing. Experience with Microsoft Office software tools, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will be necessary.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated excellence in technical coursework;

  • excellent writing skills;

  • troubleshooting and problem-solving skills;

  • attention to detail;

  • ability to work independently or in multi-disciplinary teams and

  • deliver high-quality results.

Ability to assimilate information from scientific literature; candidates in 3rd or 4th year (or finished with) bachelor’s program to help with a deeper understanding of the analysis; candidates with coursework and understanding of petroleum refining processes along with associated fuel properties, thermal and catalytic conversion processes, and biochemical conversion processes; experience working with process simulators such as Aspen Plus; experience with mathematical modeling. Candidates are encouraged to give prominence to one or more of these preferred qualifications in their resume, if they are applicable.

Preferred Qualifications


Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)

Annual Salary Range: $31,600 - $50,600

Offers will typically be made in the bottom half of the listed range. NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, as well as the position's work location, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.

Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; and sick leave (where required by law). NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement. Internships projected to be less than 20 hours per week are not eligible for medical, dental, or vision benefits.

* Based on eligibility rules

Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

EEO is the Law ( | Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination ( | Reasonable Accommodations (

E -Verify |For information about right to work, click here ( for English or here ( for Spanish.

E-Verify is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This business uses E-Verify in its hiring practices to achieve a lawful workforce.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

Please review the information on our Hiring Process ( website before you create an account and apply for a job. We also hope you will learn more about NREL ( , visit our Careers site ( , and continue to search for job opportunities ( at the lab.