UCI Energize Colleges Spring 2018 Interns


Nilesh Tiwari, Project Analyst Intern, SunPower

Nilesh assists project development analysts in the Commercial Sales team at SunPower in various research and project development tasks to support the development of solar and battery storage projects for SunPower’s commercial customers.

I am currently a third-year economics major from Riverside, CA and I’ve spent extensive time working to develop business in the solar and renewable energy industries. I have always been passionate about the link between efficiency and sustainability. Because of this, applying economic concepts and research to develop more sustainable energy grids has been a goal of mine and I am working closer to this by continuing my course work and work experience. School and work aside, I love exploring new hikes and driving scenic roads around the country.


Karina Takemoto, Project Analyst Intern, SunPower

Karina assists project development analysts in the Commercial Sales team at SunPower in various research and project development tasks to support the development of solar and battery storage projects for SunPower’s commercial customers.

Karina is a senior at UCI, studying Business Economics, International Studies and Global Sustainability. She is pursuing a career that combines each of her fields of study to either promote sustainable economic development in Latin American countries or the triple bottom line in sustainable business. Through this internship she hopes to do her part in working towards a more sustainable future. She likes to spend her free time outdoors, backpacking, long boarding, hiking and rock climbing.


Kirsten Lee, Project Engineer Intern, SunPower

Kirsten assists engineers on the Commercial Project Design and Engineering team at SunPower in designing and managing commercial rooftop, carport, and ground mount projects. Kirsten will gain exposure to the full project lifecycle, including the proposal and due diligence, design, and
construction administration phases.

Originally from San Diego, California, Kirsten is a third year civil engineering major who plans on specializing in structures during her stay here at UCI. As a firm advocate for the environment, she is a student who is in full support of the implementation of environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible practices in her areas of study. As civil and environmental engineering are both closely related disciplines which emphasize the need for engineers to create a sustainable world, she desires to learn how we can make our planet sustainable for future generations to come. As she acquires more knowledge through her coursework and internships, such as one here at Energize Colleges, she longs to become an engineer who can stand and root for sustainable and green practices wherever she goes, whether it be at her workplace in labs or even simply at home.

Sharon To, Closed Loop Plastics Intern

Closed Loop Plastics (CLP) takes plastic waste and converts it into 3D printable filament. As an intern, Sharon helps with researching what different types of plastics can be added to our product as well as what would work better for the consumer. She also works on researching how CLP can utlize renewable energy to power their system.

I am a recent graduate from the University of California, Irvine where I studied Computer Engineering. By working with Closed Loop Plastics, I hope to bring greater awareness to everyday sustainability and help make 3D printing more environmentally conscious. I seek to utilize technology to provide the rest of society with more convenient and sustainable tools as well as to satisfy and nurture human curiosity and innovation. In my free time, I enjoy going out and exploring as well as staying in with a good book or movie.

canyon selfie

Mina Nada, Environmental Programs Intern, City of Irvine

Mina assists the City of Irvine’s Environmental Division in conducting background research for programs related to energy conservation and efficiency, waste reduction and active transportation. He also assists with projects related to the exploration of a Community Choice Energy program, energy storage, development of a strategic energy plan and energy audits of City facilities.

Mina is a 4th year at UCI, currently studying Earth System Science. Originally from Long Beach, CA, he gained a passion for sustainability through his love of the ocean. He is pursuing a career in environmental management in order to promote a culture that puts mother nature first. He hopes his contributions now will allow him to proudly say to future generations that he made an impact. In his free time, he loves surfing, biking, running, reading, and working on DIY projects.