Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program.

The SULI program at NREL is a paid research experience that encourages undergraduate students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. This overview video was created by the 2014 SULI summer interns.

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL, is the Department of Energy’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Scientists improve fuel production, transportation, buildings, and electricity generation in order to develop a strategy for a clean energy future. The NREL campus is a model for sustainability, with award-winning, energy-efficient buildings. NREL’s focus on setting up partnerships with industry, academia, and government to create and license products makes it a unique national laboratory.

The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship, or SULI, is a DOE-funded program that encourages undergrads to pursue science and technology careers. Students do research at DOE national labs under the guidance of scientists and engineers. During the 10-week program, I was given the freedom to explore a complex research problem. working closely with my mentor, I was able to solve many of the problems I encountered, and by the end of the program we were able to publish a paper together. In addition to working on specific research topics, SULI interns received professional development that focused on improving our ability to communicate in a scientific context with presentations from leaders in the renewables field, including a talk from the director of the lab. Overall, the SULI program improved my ability to independently conduct research and inspired me to pursue graduate-level education.

One of the best things about working at NREL is its amazing location. Golden, which is most well-known for being the home of the Coors brewery, offers easy access to Denver and Boulder. Each city has a unique atmosphere with plenty activities geared toward college students and recent graduates, including concerts, sporting events, and just hanging out somewhere new. After work, we would play some ultimate frisbee, go for a scenic hike on South Table Mesa, or just fire up the grill and relax at home. If you enjoy the outdoors, this is the place for you. There’s just so much to explore: hiking, camping, climbing 14ers, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, or even tubing right into downtown Golden on Clear Creek. The list of things to do and places to see goes on and on. This was definitely the best summer ever.