Program provides students, recent graduates opportunity to explore careers in robotics and engineering

Jan 8, 2016


OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is seeking students and recent graduates for paid internships through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Office. The Robotics Internship Program is soliciting current students and recent high school and college graduates who have experience in robotics competitions in high school or college.

The EERE Robotics Internship Program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to continue the development of the future robotics technical and engineering workforce. Various corporate partners across the United States will host hands-on, short-term internships where participants will perform research or other technical activities under the guidance of a mentor who is a technical staff scientist or engineer at the host facility.

FIRST®, the non-profit that created the FIRST® Robotics Competition, FIRST®Tech Challenge, FIRST® LEGO League, and FIRST® LEGO League Junior, is partnering with EERE to disseminate this opportunity to its thousands of high school alumni. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

FIRST interns are among the best interns I’ve had because of their high school experiences with FIRST and their ability to work as a team,” said Lonnie Love, a FIRST Robotics mentor and group leader for automation, robotics and manufacturing for DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Another partner, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), is leading the effort to engage its partner companies in providing internship opportunities.

“As part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, IACMI has access to more than one hundred corporate members who are already invested in accelerating the development of advanced composites” said IACMI Chief Executive Officer Craig Blue. “What better way to support the industry than by investing in future leaders who apply for this internship opportunity. We’re proud to be a part of the effort.”

The 2016 summer internship will be for 10 weeks at various locations across the United States. Participants will receive a minimum stipend of $600 per week (based on academic level), housing allowance, and compensation for all inbound and outbound travel.

To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age and be enrolled in an accredited U.S. university or community college pursuing a degree related to robotics and engineering or have completed a related degree from an accredited U.S. university or community college within the last 5 years.

Applications open on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, and will close on Friday, March 4, 2016.

More information as well as an online application is available on the program website:

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRSTdesigns accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $25 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST  Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST LEGO League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST LEGO League Jr. for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to





Derek Vaughan (center left) and Sierra Palmer (far right), undergraduate students and participants of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Robotics Program, teamed up with Hardin Valley Academy students Weishan Liao (far left) and Ahmad Marion (center right) to construct Night Hawk, a robot that doubles as a high-powered T-shirt launcher for the high school’s sporting events.

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
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Phone: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Manager, Communications
Office: 865.576.0028
Phone: 865.207.7953

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination. 

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit