2014 PEER Internship Program Details
Recent earthquakes in the US and around the world have repeatedly shown that earthquake resilience is essential to building and sustaining urban communities. Earthquake resilience will play an increasingly important role in the professions associated with earthquake hazard mitigation. To educate the next-generation of these professionals, the PEER Summer Internship program has several opportunites for undergraduate students to get involved in research and learn more about earthquake resilience.
For 2014, PEER has funding from two different organizations to support undergraduate summer interns.
With funding from Heising-Simons Foundation, PEER is pleased to announce opportunities for two UC Berkeley students to participate in the Heising-Simons Natural Disaster Risk Reduction UC Berkeley – GeoHazards International Internship for ten weeks during the summer of 2014.
With pending funding from NSF, PEER is inviting undergraduate students from universities and four-year colleges to apply to participate in the ten week summer program for 2014. The selected interns will conduct individual research projects that contribute to the internship theme of "Engineering Earthquake Resilient Communities."
What you will gain as an undergraduate PEER summer intern:
- - Hands-on research experience
- - Participation in a challenging but supportive interdisciplinary research team environment
- - Exposure to the latest methodologies in earthquake research
- - Occasion to work with established researchers
- - Improved observation and communication skills
- - Awareness of the diversity of earthquake research
- - Interaction with graduate students who will serve as mentors
- - Opportunity to judge whether a career in research is right for you
HEISING-SIMONS UCB-GHI PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Two internship positions will be available to UC Berkeley civil engineering and earth science undergraduates for the summer of 2014. One earth science and one civil engineering intern will conduct research in support of current earthquake mitigation and awareness projects underway in north-eastern India through collaboration between UC Berkeley and GeoHazards International (GHI).
GHI works in the world's most vulnerable communities to reduce loss of life and suffering caused by earthquakes and tsunamis through preparedness and mitigation. It is currently focusing on the city of Aizawl, the capital of the north-eastern Indian state, Mizoram, an extremely earthquake-prone region of the world, located near the epicenter of a magnitude 8 earthquake in 1897. Aizawl’s recent exceptionally rapid population growth has led to crowded, poor quality and unplanned construction. The location of the city, on a mountain ridge, presents additional risk because the steep slopes are prone to landslides and seismic energy is amplified on topographic ridges. GHI currently is working with a multidisciplinary team of US and Indian civil engineers, seismologists, geologists, urban planners and public policy specialists to assess the seismic hazard in Aizawl, to estimate the human, social, and economic consequences of a future large earthquake, and work with city leaders devise economically, politically, and culturally feasible measures to reduce the city’s risk.
Interns will conduct their research projects under the mentorship of a GHI staff member, and a UC Berkeley faculty member and a graduate student. While the specific research projects for the interns are still being developed, some possible research topics could include:
- - Landslide mapping studies of the local area to identify specific areas of high landslide susceptibility zones and potential remediation measures;
- - Seismic hazard characterization and estimation of the maximum shaking possible from the nearby faults;
- - Estimation and simulation of topographic seismic amplification with possible application and use of field-deployed seismometers or other sensors;
- - Evaluation of lifeline systems like the water storage and delivery infrastructure, followed by network analysis to determine fragilities of various components and identification of the key system vulnerabilities;
- - Conducting geotechnical or structural studies that develop possible solutions to protect vulnerable community buildings and infrastructure such as multi-family housing, water storage tanks, schools, bridges;
- - Studies of the potential effects of specific land use policies and regulations intended to reduce the local population’s risk.
Interested UC Berkeley undergraduate students should apply for this internship through the application form the 2014 PEER Internship Program at the bottom of this page. ONLY UC Berkeley undergraduates are eligible for these intership projects.
For more information, download the Heising-Simons Natural Disaster Risk Reduction UCB–GHI Internship Flyer (PDF file - 1.2 MB)
NSF PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Interns will be placed at the four partnering universities: University of California Berkeley, University of California Davis, University of California San Diego, and University of Washington. The students will be placed in pairs with a faculty and graduate student mentor to complete projects related to the seismic resiliency of infrastructure, ports, levees, and urban buildings. The proposed mentors have expertise in a variety of disciplines including structural and geotechnical engineering, urban planning, public policy and economics. This multi-disciplinary integration is an important aspect of this REU site because multi-disciplinary cooperation and collaboration is needed to achieve the broad goal of earthquake resilient communities.
During their summer research experience, interns are required to work 40 hours per week for 10 weeks from June 16, 2014 – August 22, 2014. Interns will regularly interface with others interns who are studying alternate disciplines and weekly engage with the full intern cohort.
The PEER Summer Internship Program is targeted to upper-division undergraduate students who have completed junior-level courses in engineering or a related field, however, PEER will also consider applicants from other grade levels. The program is intended to provide research opportunities for undergraduates who have shown an interest in earthquake engineering, demonstrated a high level of academic performance (generally GPA = 3.0 or above), and whose presence would enhance the diversity of PEER. Although PEER seeks racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, California law prohibits preferential treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin. Consequently, selection of award recipients is not based on these criteria.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all participants supported by NSF funding be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at a university or college in the United States or its possessions.
Interns will receive a $7,000 stipend (intended to cover summer housing and travel expenses to the summer project location). PEER will provide additional compensation for travel to conferences and meetings during the summer program. See the activities section below for more information on these events.
The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) is a multi-institutional research and education center with headquarters at the University of California, Berkeley. Investigators from over 20 universities, several consulting companies, plus researchers at various State and Federal government agencies contribute to research programs focused on performance-based earthquake engineering in disciplines including structural and geotechnical engineering, geology/seismology, lifelines, transportation, risk management, and public policy.
The PEER mission is to develop, validate, and disseminate performance-based seismic design technologies for buildings and infrastructure to meet the diverse economic and safety needs of owners and society. PEER's research defines appropriate performance targets, and develops engineering tools and criteria that can be used by practicing professionals to achieve those targets, such as safety, cost, and post-earthquake functionality.
The 10-week summer program for the undergraduate interns will begin with an Orientation Program at the University of California Berkeley. This orientation program will include the following items:
- - Earthquake Resiliency Workshop: The definition and concept of earthquake resiliency will be explored and discussed through activities and presentations by various mentors. The workshop will highlight the multi-disciplinary nature of the topic.
- - Communication skills: This module provides the students with tips on how to communicate their research project and results coherently. It will include instruction on oral and poster presentations, and writing a technical paper.
- - Library research tools: This will be a session in the National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering Library. The students will learn about how to complete a thorough literature review and how to effectively find documents necessary to write a research results paper.
- - Graduate school: The graduate student advisors in Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley will provide tips on how to successfully apply to and pay for graduate school. A graduate student round table discussion will also be arranged so the students can ask questions of current graduate students.
- - Research Ethics: Tools and case studies will be used to introduce and discuss ethical issues related to engineering practice and engineering research.
The interns at all 4 research sites will participate in web-based weekly meetings. During the first weekly meetings the students will each present an overview of their research project using PowerPoint so that the entire cohort learns about the various intern research projects being completed. At the following meetings the interns will be required to present updates on the status of their research project as well as discuss some research challenges. The final group meetings at the end of the summer will give the interns the opportunity to present a final, complete research presentation that includes their project overview, results, and how their project contributes to future community earthquake resiliency.
The final experience for the interns will be their participation in the PEER Annual Meeting, which is typically held in October. The students will participate by (1) attending the entire conference to learn more about the numerous multi-disciplinary PEER research projects and seeing how a professional conference works, (2) presenting their research via a poster session at the conference, and (3) having their research papers published into a PEER report that is available at the conference and on the PEER website.
Based on the student activities explained above, the students will be required to submit the following deliverables by the end of their research experience:
- Oral presentations as required for the weekly meetings (minimum of 3)
- Poster of their research project and results for presentation at the PEER Annual Meeting
- Research paper for inclusion into a PEER report that serves as a compendium of all the interns research papers
SELECTING A PROJECT
The list of available projects for the summer of 2014 will be posted as soon as our funding is confirmed. Check back soon!
The selection team will evaluate the applicants based on their interest in earthquake engineering and mitigation, past educational performance, writing skills, and completion of necessary coursework relevant to specific summer research projects. The selection team will then assign the selected students to specific projects and research sites based on the student’s ability, interest, and site preferences. Applications by women and individuals who are from underrepresented groups are encouraged, although all qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.
BEFORE COMPLETING THE APPLICATION BELOW, please be sure to assemble all necessary information because you cannot save your application entries to finish at a later date and must complete the application form in one attempt. Download a blank copy of the application form to view the exact questions asked in the web-based application form.Items necessary to submit your application:
- - Contact Information (Name, Email, Phone Number, Current Address)
- - Citizenship
- - Current and Former University Information: name, location, start date, end date, major field of study, cumulative GPA, major GPA, expected graduation date, expected degree
- - Unofficial Transcripts for your current university (Please use the following naming convention for your file: Lastname_Firstname_transcript.pdf ) Project Selection (ranking of top 3 projects)
- - Short Essay #1: Describe your ranking selections above. Are there any educational or logistical reasons why you chose those projects? (max 200 words)
- - Short Essay #2: Describe how your education and work experience to date have prepared you to complete research related to earthquake engineering and earthquake resilient communities. Also discuss the strengths that you will bring to your research project if selected. (max 300 words)
- - Short Essay #3: Provide a statement of purpose that describes your academic and career goals. How would this internship research experience help you achieve these goals? (max 300 words)
- - Resume (Please use the following naming convention for your file: Lastname_Firstname_resume.pdf )
- - Contact information for two references: one faculty member or academic advisor, and one supervisor or someone for whom you have recently worked.
- - Demographic information (optional)
Complete and Submit the 2014 PEER Internship Application Form
Application review for Heising-Simons UCB-GHI Internship begins:
Monday, January 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific Time.
Application review for NSF REU Internship is expected to begin on the following date, however it is pending confirmation of our program funding:
DATE TO BE RESCHEDULED UPON CONFIRMATION OF PROGRAM FUNDING.
This date will be updated after the projects have been posted to give at least one week for applicants to submit their applications with their ranked project preferences.
The application form will remain open until all positions are filled, however applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before the application review begins.
MORE QUESTIONS?Visit the PEER Internship Program web page for more general information and links to other 2013 internship opportunities.
Funding for the 2014 PEER Internship Program is provided National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC-1063138. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).