NEL-i - Biomethanization and RNG Production Technologies Assessment
Case study from the Riipen Level UP remote internship program
NEL-i is a group of entrepreneurs from the digital technology, engineering, finance, cleantech, education, marketing and communications sectors, whose role is to support its partners in transitioning and integrating into the new economy. NEL-i wanted to identify and compare the various biomethanization technologies and upgrade/purification technologies available to help them support four of their clients in applying for government grants.
The Level UP remote internship program was the first time that NEL-i used the Riipen platform to find an intern to help them with their operations. Through Level UP, they were partnered with Nadia Candler, a University of Toronto Mechanical Engineering Student.
Over a 2 week period and working full-time, Nadia conducted substantial research to identify all of the technologies currently available that are involved in the renewable energy production process. Following this research, Nadia developed a comparative analysis benchmark tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each technology, as well as the applications where this technology could be adopted.
As a mechanical engineering student, Nadia has always been interested in renewable energy. “This project really solidified the decision I made on where I'd like to take my career, and it also got me very excited about the innovations and research happening in the renewable energies field currently.” says Nadia. “I feel as though I developed my critical thinking skills through thinking analytically about the technologies I was researching, as well as identifying their strengths and weaknesses and where that technology would be applicable."
Nadia reflects on the impact of the Level UP remote internship program, speaks of the interest she has for the renewable energy sector and how the experience solidified her career aspirations.
Throughout the project, Nadia and NEL-i were in constant communication, using Slack on a daily basis, and meeting every few days so that Nadia could present and receive feedback on her research. As a bonus, working with the French-speaking NEL-i team allowed Nadia to sharpen her French skills!
Nadia really understood the big picture, and was extremely efficient in her work. She hit the ground running and the background research she carried out not only helped NEL-i save time and effort, but also prevented them from having to extend the project by a few weeks, if not months, which was not an option given the government’s grant submission deadline.
Thanks to Nadia’s work, NEL-i was able to deliver the preliminary engineering processes to their four clients so that they could qualify for a subsidy or government grant for the development of these technologies. While they are still awaiting the government's decision, NEL-i's clients were very satisfied with the work done.
Although her initial Level UP project was short-term, Nadia made such an impression on NEL-I that they asked her back for a 4-month internship. They also made clear to Nadia that, upon her graduation, they would very much like to hire her full-time!
Through her Level UP project, Nadia was able to gain career clarity, develop her critical thinking skills, gain real-world experience in the renewable energy sector, and as a result of her great work, potentially land a full-time position with the company should she wish.
Nicolas Rémillard, VP & Chief Services Officer at NEL-i, shares the impact of the Level UP remote internship program from the employer perspective, his thoughts on the process, and how working with Nadia greatly impacted one of their projects.
Thank you to Nadia for sharing her experience on Riipen. To learn more about how you can get started with the Level UP remote internship program as a student or employer, visit the website here. Stay up to date with the latest in higher education, experiential learning, and the future of work, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Riipen Report.
Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.