Marcella and Stuart Bernstein, BS 85, have made a substantial gift to create an endowment for the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI), a campus-wide institute that serves as a coordinating hub for all of the university's energy and climate efforts.
Those efforts include the Energy Institute at Haas' Cleantech to Market (C2M) Program; a seed fund program; a curriculum innovation award; and the Cal Energy Corps, an expanding undergraduate summer internship program that just announced this year's opportunities.
Alumnus Stuart Bernstein is the global head of the clean technology and renewable business for Goldman Sachs and sits on the BECI advisory board.
"Our commitment to BECI is specifically directed to the Energy Institute at Haas and the Cleantech to Market Program at the Haas School," Bernstein says. "We hope others will be encouraged to give to BECI, which can help support research across the university, including at the business school."
Cleantech to Market partners an interdisciplinary team of graduate students and engineers, scientists, and energy professionals to help convert cleantech research into market opportunities. The program began with the efforts of student leaders in the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, a student group, including then co-chair Naveen Sikka, MBA 09, who teamed up with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories to create C2M.
Since then, C2M has grown into a full-fledged course that meets the full-time MBA experiential learning requirement as well as a powerful accelerator for startup ventures. "C2M has become a commercialization resource for UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory," explains Bev Alexander, C2M's director.
C2M also welcomed its first Executive in Residence at the beginning of the year: Brian Steel, who brings 30 years of business innovation and leadership experience. He most recently led the industry's first tax-equity solar project financing by an investor-owned utility, investing $400 million in nearly $1 billion of solar assets. He has also held leadership positions at Pandora, Yahoo!, and Idealab Silicon Valley.
"The success of the C2M program has been noted far and wide," says Carol Mimura, UC Berkeley assistant vice chancellor, intellectual property and industry research alliances. "I met some students in Brussels who emphatically stated that Haas is their #1 choice due primarily to the C2M Program."
Meanwhile, the Cal Energy Corps, an initiative for undergrads coordinated by BECI, will offer more than 30 students internships this summer, following a pilot program last summer with 19 students. In summer 2012 students will work in research organizations, nonprofits, and companies overseas as far away as China and India, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Germany.
Among the projects Cal Energy Corps interns will be involved in are efforts to create “green coal” as industrial fuel, helping to produce biofuels, working on improving photovoltaics for integration into the electricity grid, building models to better understand climate change, and designing and testing cook stoves.
The program provides a $600 weekly stipend for all interns, as well as funding to cover transportation and housing costs. All placements are full time. The application deadline is March 18. More information and application forms are available at the Cal Energy Corps website.