EcoComplex Intern Program

EcoComplex 2018 Summer Interns

Our 2018 Undergrad and Graduate Research Interns Have Arrived For The Summer!


Meet The Interns

Dunbar Paul Birnie IV

Dunbar Paul Birnie IV is a Junior in the Rutgers Honors Engineering Academy pursuing a double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This summer Dunbar is working as an intern for Noveda Technologies. His responsibilities include working on the communication network at the Livingston Campus solar canopies at Rutgers New Brunswick. Two research topics that he finds particularly interesting are machine learning and artificial intelligence. When not working Dunbar has a passion for rock climbing. He is the Vice President of the Rutgers Rock Climbing Team and is proud of his achievements in competitions that led to Nationals this year in Houston Texas.


Courtney Beard

Courtney Beard began working in the Information Technology field in 2009 and has returned to studying full-time at Rutgers University in order to pursue a Master of Information degree with a concentration in Data Science.  Courtney has served in the United States Air Force since 2007.  Her current role is the First Sergeant for an Air Support Operations Squadron in Atlantic City.  She is excited to intern with Noveda Technologies this Summer and is looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people. 


Tim McHugh

Tim McHugh is currently a Master of Business and Science (MBS) student at Rutgers with a concentration in Sustainability. Previously, Tim received my Bachelor of Science in "Energy Business and Finance" from Penn State University. Coming back for a Master's was a decision he made after working a few jobs in finance and project management and realizing he wanted to be more involved on the science side of things. In addition to conducting outreach for the Ocean Exchange competition, Tim's research here at the EcoComplex has been focused on refrigeration facilities and food waste generation in and around Newark.


Max Melnick

Max Melnick is an undergraduate at Rutgers University studying environmental science and minoring in sustainability. His passion for the preservation of the natural world was developed at his childhood home, where Max grew up next to the renowned Sourland Mountain Preserve. It was there that he began questioning the mechanisms that pushes Mother Nature to function with magnificent efficiency. A lifelong interest in medicine has allowed Max to understand and appreciate the complexities and nuances of biological order before widening his scope of interest from medicine to environmental science. Since his switch in interest to environmental science, Max has worked to improve his understanding of sustainable practices through a collaborative effort between himself and his faculty mentor. Max’s competitive and innovative approach to problems led him to the opportunity to meet his CABLE faculty mentor at an energy competition, where Max presented on the benefits of integrating a Power over Ethernet (PoE) system for data driven energy management on campus. He has since been working with his CABLE faculty mentor on expanding the close-loop bio economy initiatives aimed at improving efficient utilization of resources at the local, state, and regional levels. Max hopes to master the analysis of bio economy initiatives at relevant business fronts to be able to provide a full scope understanding to those who request his help. He aspires to one-day open up a consulting/design firm that is capable of producing innovative bio economy solutions while mimicking in design how nature has been perfecting the utilization of energy for nearly 3.8 billion years.


Menghong Ma

Menghong Ma is a Masters Student in Chemical Engineering at Rutgers University. Menghong did research on process engineering in her undergraduate study, and currently doing research on supercritical fluid in her graduate study. She is currently working on energy consumption and carbon footprint of refrigerator warehouses this summer during her internship at the EcoComplex. Chemical Engineering is not all about chemistry, it is related to process, design and upscaling of experiments. She has a passion for research because you can always learn something new. Menghong also enjoys playing Tennis in her free time.


Bryan Zhu

Bryan Zhu is a rising sophomore at Rutgers University, New Brunswick majoring in computer engineering. Bryan is currently interning with PureSpinach, a Rutgers EcoComplex incubator tenant in the research and demonstration greenhouse, to assist them with researching a way to recycle their growing medium via pasteurization. He has an interest in environmentalism, and pursued that when he started a composting program for his high school. In Bryan's free time he likes to cook and meet up with friends.


Kyle Birrer

Kyle Birrer is a Junior at the University of Vermont majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Community Development. Kyle is currently working for PureSpinach and ECOWalls at the Rutgers EcoComplex. At PureSpinach Kyle is working on a study comparing the Burlington Country tap water with distilled water, in regard to which generates the most yield. He has interests in environmental protection, renewable energies, and backcountry hiking, and has recently completed a NOLS outdoor leadership course, with which he hopes to guide. In Kyles free time you could find him outside, listening to music, or reading.