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Troy, N.Y. -  8/10/2015

Summer Interns Investigate Solid-State Lighting Issues

This summer, five undergraduate students spent eight weeks at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer learning about solid-state lighting technologies and investigating technology and application issues in LED and OLED lighting. The LRC’s summer undergraduate research internship, sponsored by the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), provides an opportunity for engineering, architecture, and science students from universities around the country to learn from the LRC’s lighting experts about a career path that most might never have thought of: solid-state lighting research.
Solid-state lighting (SSL), including LED and OLED technologies, is a fast-growing market because of its promise to save energy, reduce costs, and provide flexible, innovative designs for different lighting applications. Now in its third year, the LRC research internship involves mentorship, experimentation, prototype building, and a final presentation of the research to the corporate sponsors of the ASSIST program.
“The ASSIST-sponsored internship is a great way for students to get an in-depth, hands-on experience with SSL research, as well as a chance to present their work to organizations that may hire them in the future,” said Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., the LRC’s director of research and organizer of the ASSIST program and internship.
The research projects conducted this summer included: investigating spectral tuning for load-shedding applications; analyzing the useful life of mid-power LEDs; estimating the accuracy of LED lens surface temperature using thermocouples; developing an OLED light fixture exploiting 3D-printing technology; and designing a driver and control system that can drive OLED and LED fixtures efficiently and work with connected systems that transfer information both ways on a novel DC grid.
“The 15 students we have mentored over the past three years have all done an excellent job at getting up to speed, developing their projects, and presenting their research to the ASSIST sponsors in just eight weeks’ time,” said Dr. Narendran. “Every year our sponsors have been impressed with the level and quality of work these students accomplish in such a short period.” This year was also the first that the LRC hosted a student funded by Rensselaer’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
Applications for the 2016 summer internship will be available next January. For more information, visit
The Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST) was established in 2002 by the Lighting Research Center as a collaboration between researchers, manufacturers, and government organizations. ASSIST’s mission is to enable the broad adoption of solid-state lighting by providing factual information based on applied research and by visualizing future applications. The Lighting Research Center conducts research, demonstration, and educational activities on behalf of ASSIST. ASSIST is sponsored by 3M; Acuity Brands Lighting; Amerlux; BAE Systems; Bridgelux; Crouse-Hinds by Eaton; Cree; Dow Corning; Federal Aviation Administration; GE Lighting Solutions; Hubbell Lighting; Legrand; Lumileds; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); OSRAM SYLVANIA/OSRAM Opto Semiconductors; Philips Lighting; Samsung; Seoul Semiconductor; United States Environmental Protection. Visit


About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.