DOE Scholars Program

Explore the possibilities

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The DOE Scholars Program introduces students or recent college graduates to DOE's mission and operations. As a participant in the DOE Scholars Program, you will earn a competitive edge by familiarizing yourself with DOE functions while showcasing your education, talent and skills.

The application for Summer 2017 appointments are now open! Application deadline is December 15, 2016, 11:59 p.m. EST.

R.J. McIntosh

Research Profile – R.J. McIntosh

As the first U.S. Army veteran from the state of Washington to obtain a federal appointment as a DOE Scholar, Ronald J. (R.J.) McIntosh recently received a U.S. Congressional Commendation from one of his state’s congresswomen, Rep. Suzan DelBene. McIntosh’s DOE Scholar position landed him in the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs where he helped administer federal emergency management programs and aided in developing strategic capital investment plans for FY15 energy project funding. McIntosh is now working towards his master’s degree in sustainability at the City University of Seattle. “My favorite part of the DOE Scholars program was the “hands-on” opportunity to demonstrate my skill sets and the supportiveness of my program managers,” he said. “It allowed me to broaden my level of understanding of multiple federal energy management programs inside and outside the DOE.” McIntosh previously participated in the federal Veteran Retraining Assistance Program that enabled him to acquire an associate’s degree in applied sciences, environmental technologies and sustainable practices at Cascadia Community College. In the future, McIntosh wants to lead the charge in implementing “net zero” energy strategies on the state and federal levels.
Sharon Spradling

Research Profile – Sharon Spradling

For Sharon Spradling, a U.S. Air Force veteran, participation in the DOE Scholars program led to the Department of Transportation (DOT) where she aided in implementation of clean energy and sustainability strategies. Spradling was a part of DOE’s Federal Energy Management pilot program designed to help veterans hone their workforce skills and experience. While at DOT, Spradling, a doctoral student in geoinformation science at George Mason University, participated in three diverse projects, each of which addressed a unique aspect of energy policy implementation. In her first DOT project, Spradling conducted a detailed review of the agency’s analysis on greenhouse gas emissions from DOT employee commuting and alternative work schedules. Next, she assessed and recommended improvements on how DOT collects, validates, and consolidates water data from the department’s more than 1,000 federal facilities. Finally, she participated in developing a comprehensive energy management strategy for these same buildings that would help DOT meet the new energy conservation requirements outlined in the President’s December 2013 energy memorandum. “The DOE Scholars program allows you to build on the experience you already have, learn about the federal government’s energy programs, and contribute to another agency’s energy programs. It has been a great experience,” she said. Upon completion of her degree, Spradling sees herself in a faculty position, continuing to teach energy and environmental sustainability classes at a university.

Ryan Tuttle

Research Profile – Ryan Tuttle

Graduate student Ryan Tuttle was no stranger to the DOE Scholars Program – he participated once before in a different division – but that did not stop him from gaining another valuable experience with DOE. He served his most recent appointment in the Office of Environmental Compliance where he focused on determining best practices through compiling different regulatory requirements and tracking the methods used to close issues with these requirements. “There is always another element to learn,” he said. “I have a better understanding of how the government functions internally from this experience; the life of a civil servant is very different than I expected.” Once he completes his master’s degree in public policy at Oregon State University, Ryan hopes to work his way into the renewable energy and energy efficiency side of the federal government with DOE’s Office of Environmental Management, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Bonneville Power Administration.

Sean DeRosa

Research Profile – Sean DeRosa

Although Sean DeRosa is still working towards his doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, he knew he wanted to gain experience with policy makers and learn how oil and gas policy is developed. This goal led him to apply to the DOE Scholars Program where he joined his mentor Mitchell Baer in the Office of Policy and International Affairs. “I applied modeling and economic analysis from specific energy scenarios to assist policy makers with decisions,” he said. “By taking the results of our analysis, we can decide what course of action is the most economically and scientifically feasible.” Through his participation, Sean gained experience writing reports from a policy standpoint, including how to communicate science in the best manner to direct policy development.
Kaelin Priger

Research Profile – Kaelin Priger

Kaelin Priger (left), who is working toward a chemistry degree at Georgia Institute of Technology, had the opportunity to gain knowledge about hydrogen fuel cells. As a DOE Scholar participating on the Hydrogen Production and Delivery Team in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Priger searched past and current research on metal hydride compressors, used for compression of hydrogen during the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle fueling process, to determine future needs in bringing a hydrogen economy to reality. This and other compression technologies are important for bringing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the market for the general public. “I have always been passionate about the environment and environmentally friendly transportation technology, so for me to get an internship that was both a personal and an academic interest was a blessing,” she said. “I had not learned very much about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles before this internship, so I was practically devouring every bit of information that I learned on the job.” Priger strongly encourages students to take advantage of this educational experience.