Sneha Jain, who is currently pursuing her Masters in Building Science Research at IIIT-Hyderabad has been awarded an internship that will allow her to work at the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), USA for six months.
The Building Energy Efficiency Higher And Advanced Network (BHAVAN) internship is the result of collaborative efforts between the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) with the aim of providing avenues of collaboration between students and scientists from India and the US.
Of the 12 students selected for the internship across India, Sneha’s research on strategies to minimize glare and overheating in buildings especially due to the emerging trend of glass facades, has given her the opportunity to intern under the guidance of Christian Kohler, who is the head of Building Technology department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Mr. Kohler, who incidentally visited IIIT-Hyderabad last year, has spent the last two decades on research in improving building energy efficiency using state-of-the-art intelligent facade and daylighting technologies integrated with lighting controls and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.
Hailing from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh, 25-year-old Sneha was encouraged and in turn drawn towards academia from the very start by her father, a school principal. After obtaining her Bachelor in Architecture, when most of her peers plunged headlong into the designing of buildings, Sneha naturally veered towards the research aspects of technical performance of buildings. Luckily for her, the search for a specialized niche course in IT for sustainable buildings research ended at IIIT-Hyderabad. “It is an interdisciplinary course that includes elements of construction technology, illumination engineering, architecture, meteorology, sustainable building, and heat and mass transport physics”, says Sneha, going on to add that there are very few institutes in India that offer such a thing.
As she prepares for her trip to California, Sneha is looking forward to this opportunity of developing industry solutions for the daylight controls which will be beneficial to both India and US. She says, “I hope that I can foster a mutually beneficial and intellectually rewarding relationship with host institute and bring back my learning to be added to present knowledge in Indian academia and hopefully in technology transfer”.
Commending her achievement, Prof Vishal Garg, Head at Building Science Research Centre, IIIT-Hyderabad and Sneha’s thesis advisor said, “This is a prestigious internship in the area of Building Energy Efficiency. This will give Sneha an excellent opportunity to work with the leading group in the area of daylighting controls at Berkeley Lab. These visits play a very important role in our research collaborations. I am glad that Sneha is selected for this internship.”