This summer, five undergraduate students spent eight weeks at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer learning about solid-state lighting technologies and investigating technology and application issues in LED and OLED lighting. 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 from universities around the country to learn from the LRC’s lighting experts about a career path that most might never have thought of: solid-state lighting research.
Solid-state lighting (SSL), including LED and OLED technologies, is a fast-growing market because of its promise to save energy, reduce costs, and provide flexible, innovative designs for different lighting applications. Now in its third year, the LRC research internship involves mentorship, experimentation, prototype building, and a final presentation of the research to the corporate sponsors of the ASSIST program.
“The ASSIST-sponsored internship is a great way for students to get an in-depth, hands-on experience with SSL research, as well as a chance to present their work to organizations that may hire them in the future,” said Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., the LRC’s director of research and organizer of the ASSIST program and internship.
The research projects conducted this summer included: investigating spectral tuning for load-shedding applications; analyzing the useful life of mid-power LEDs; estimating the accuracy of LED lens surface temperature using thermocouples; developing an OLED light fixture exploiting 3D-printing technology; and designing a driver and control system that can drive OLED and LED fixtures efficiently and work with connected systems that transfer information both ways on a novel DC grid.
“The 15 students we have mentored over the past three years have all done an excellent job at getting up to speed, developing their projects, and presenting their research to the ASSIST sponsors in just eight weeks’ time,” said Dr. Narendran. “Every year our sponsors have been impressed with the level and quality of work these students accomplish in such a short period.”
Applications for the 2016 summer internship will be available next January. For more information, visit http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/education/SSLInternship/index.asp.
The Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST) was established in 2002 by the Lighting Research Center as a collaboration between researchers, manufacturers, and government organizations. ASSIST’s mission is to enable the broad adoption of solid-state lighting by providing factual information based on applied research and by visualizing future applications. The Lighting Research Center conducts research, demonstration, and educational activities on behalf of ASSIST. ASSIST is sponsored by 3M; Acuity Brands Lighting; Amerlux; BAE Systems; Bridgelux; Crouse-Hinds by Eaton; Cree; Dow Corning; Federal Aviation Administration; GE Lighting Solutions; Hubbell Lighting; Legrand; Lumileds; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); OSRAM SYLVANIA/OSRAM Opto Semiconductors; Philips Lighting; Samsung; Seoul Semiconductor; United States Environmental Protection. Visit www.lrc.rpi.edu/assist.