Undergrad Employment Information

Career Skills

Besides visiting a wide variety of manufacturing plants, student employees gain experience in many areas vital to developing skills for engineering careers.

  • Student employees operate as energy consultants, with plant managers as clients. This facilitates the development of professional interpersonal skills required in industry.
  • Students learn to gather information from various sources key to manufacturing across a wide range of industries.
  • Students gain real world experience with basic engineering principles, such as fluid dynamics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, machine control, and more.
  • All employees gain experience in report writing, review, and information integration.

Assessment Activities

IAC faculty and staff lead a team of 4-6 undergraduate and graduate students on a one-day plant visit for each energy audit. During the plant visit, the team gets a tour of the manufacturing operations with an emphasis on the operations that use energy and generate waste. The team then gathers to discuss their observations, brainstorm for specific recommendations, and spend the rest of the day gathering data to support our assessment recommendations (ARs). After returning to CSU, the undergraduate students are assigned the tasks of researching each idea and preparing an analysis that includes the energy and waste savings or productivity increase, the cost savings, and the estimated cost to implement the recommendation. Completed ARs are reviewed by other students to check for clarity, accuracy, and proper detail. Typically one student from the team is assigned as author to assemble ARs into a final report. This entails a general description of the plant and processes, sample cost calculations, and verification of agreement between all sections. The final report is reviewed and modified as needed by the Director and Assistant Director before submission to our Field Managers at Rutgers University within the 60 day period following the site visit.  After six months, a student will contact the plant to verify which ideas have been implemented.

Expected Workload:

The IAC contract calls for 10 assessments per year, so an average of one to two assessment are conducted each month. In terms of time commitment, this translates to about 10 hours for the plant visit and about 5-10 hours per week during the semester in preparing the analyses for the report. 

Who Should Apply

Undergraduates from the Department of Mechanical Engineering are preferred, although students from any Engineering discipline are invited to apply.Good problem analysis skills for solutions to real world applications. Students with be performing the same tasks as real-world consultants.

  • Good team workers,  Students in this project work as a team with other students, so good interpersonal skills are expected.
  • Good communication skills that can write effectively and deal with a variety of people, from fellow students to professors, from plant line workers to CEOs, and from salespeople to governmental regulators.
  • Experience with any form of energy analysis/conservation, manufacturing operations, and waste generation and pollution prevention.
  • Career interests in the areas of energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and productivity improvement. This program provides a good vehicle for students that are interested in careers with consulting firms that specialize in these areas, regulatory agencies, and manufacturers.
  • Sophomores and juniors are preferred. First-year seniors who are not in Senior Design also will be considered
  • Basic Computing Skills such as experience in Microsoft Word, Excel, MATLAB, DOE Tool-set, or other computer-based modeling tools are advantageous, but not required.


Minimum Requirements:
  • Enrolled in the College of Engineering in any engineering discipline.
  • 2.8 grade point average.
  • Potential availability: Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Students are required to participate in at least three assessments each semester
  • Have an interest in renewable energy and simple understanding of: thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and machinery. 

Interested to Apply

This position is on and off hiring throughout the school year. 

Email John.Mizia@colostate.edu to see if a position is open.

Include your resume and a small paragraph on why you are interested in this position.