2016 is the 10th consecutive year STINTEF Energy welcomes students to the «Summer Job Project». During the spring, more than 330 students have applied for 27 vacancies, and now they are starting their work.
Ten years ago the Summer Job Project was launched as an experiment. SINTEF Energy invited 3rd and 4th year students at NTNU to apply for summer jobs related to real SINTEF projects. Already the first year there were far more applicants than available positions. Since then, the number of projects offered has increased, and the number of applicants have skyrocketed. Around 200 students have tried out as «summer researchers» during the last decade.
The idea with the Summer Job Project is to offer students meaningful and relevant practice, while at the same time getting to know potential candidates for employment at SINTEF Energy. Students with relevant background from any university can apply, and now even second-year students are included. The student is given a concrete research task as part of an ongoing SINTEF Energy project, and is supervised by SINTEF researchers. Whenever relevant – and provided interest from both parties – the students could combine the summer job with their mandatory university project work and diploma thesis. When all summer jobs are completed, SINTEF Energy organizes a seminar where all students make a presentation of their projects and findings during the summer. This seminar typically draws a good crowd of SINTEF researchers and NTNU professors, who have the possibility to learn more about their own and other fields of research.
The number of applications has never been higher than in 2016, when more than 330 students applied for jobs. Line Rydså, the Summer Job 2016 project leader, thinks there are several reasons why the scheme has become so popular. – First and foremost, it is about the fact that the jobs we offer are highly relevant for the students, who are eager to practice the theoretical knowledge they have acquired through long years at the university. Such jobs do not exist in big numbers. At the same time (and in all modesty, she underlines), I think SINTEF Energy has done well both in terms of offering relevant research tasks, and in crating a nice setting for the students. When the students have left us after the summer, they have done so with a good feeling. In the next instance word-of-mouth has been the perhaps most important promotional tool.
Research manager at SINTEF Energy’s Gas Technology Department, Sigurd Størset was project leader for the Summer Job Project last year (2015). He says: –Each year we spend time evaluating the project involving students and researchers. The evaluations show that both the students and the researchers benefit from the projects. The student can apply knowledge gained at the university to real problems in real projects, something they find inspiring and motivating. On the other hand, the researchers are motivated to see how much the students manage to cover during a few summer weeks, and they experience that the contributions from the students actually gives valuable input to their projects. It is not un-normal that a report from a summer job gives important contributions to SINTEF projects.
The Summer Job Project has been the entrance gate to SINTEF for several of the current BIGCCS researchers. This year BIGCCS has employed three new summer students:
Kun Wang is working on simulation of base cases for hydrogen production with CO2 capture. More specifically, he is looking at steam-methane reforming with pre-combustion and post-combustion capture, and auto-thermal reforming with pre-combustion capture. His focus is on mature technologies, and the cases can be used as benchmark for more novel technologies. His project is funded by BIGCCS Task 1.5 (Application to Industry and Offshore) together with the Hyper project.
Rebecca Gullberg is investigating the potential of chemical looping combustion (CLC) for steam generation, using natural gas as fuel (BIGCCS Task 1.5). Process simulations in Hysys are combined with results from a spreadsheet tool that calculates CLC heat and mass balances. She will quantify the penalty that occurs due to processing of the CO2, if the CLC reactor system has incomplete fuel conversion, and compare this against CO2 capture with MEA for a regular boiler generating the same amount of steam.
Avinash Shankar Rammohan Subrammanian is comparing the efficiency for different CO2 capture technologies when applied to the natural gas combined cycles (BIGCCS Task 1.6). In particular, he will investigate low-temperature amine impregnated sorbents and polymeric membrane systems, and compare them against CO2 capture using amine solvents or calcium looping. All investigations are done for the same natural gas combined cycle process, using Hysys process simulations and an in-house tool developed for optimized membrane system design.
Student photos: SINTEF/Mette Kjelstad