Eric Materniak, 2014, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
As an intern at Lightening Energy this past summer, I performed many tasks related to energy storage technology. Lightening Energy, a small company, submits many proposals for military contracts. One such proposal was for a vehicle battery with an increased charge retention life. On just the second day of my internship, we needed to perform a heat transfer calculation to verify the charge retention life of this vehicle battery. This kind of atmosphere made the internship very exciting. As Lightening Energy is considering manufacturing their lithium ion batteries in the near future, I developed a cost model for a lithium ion battery manufacturing plant to determine if the company could compete with large scale manufacturers in Asia. In order to make the batteries affordable on a large scale, Lightening Energy also wanted a new simple and cost-effective case design for their lithium ion cell, which I designed using CAD software. Another part of my internship involved researching alternative materials for fuel cell interconnects. These energy technologies can be used to reduce dependence on fossil fuel power plants which provide extra power to the grid. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship this summer and am considering a career related to energy storage technology or alternative energy.