Artificial intelligence (AI) policy: ASHRAE prohibits the entry of content from any ASHRAE publication or related ASHRAE intellectual property (IP) into any AI tool, including but not limited to ChatGPT. Additionally, creating derivative works of ASHRAE IP using AI is also prohibited without express written permission from ASHRAE.

logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

ASHRAE Student Member Reflects On 2017 WISE Internship Experience

ASHRAE Student Member Reflects On 2017 WISE Internship Experience

From eSociety, August 2017

By Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News

ASHRAE Student Member Madalyn Beban solved more than engineering problems this past summer.

Beban, a rising senior at the University of Dayton, spent nine weeks in Washington, D.C., as this year’s ASHRAE-sponsored WISE Program participant.

Each summer, up to 15 college students are selected for the WISE (Washington Internships for Students of Engineering) Program to learn about how engineering contributes to and intersects with technology and public policy, which Beban said proved to be complex.

“I assumed it was just like an engineering problem where you had to gather enough information, and you could make a measured decision and hit it right on the nose and get the right answer. But there really are no concrete answers, and I think that’s what's attractive about it,” she said.

Beban was one of 10 WISE interns and was the sole student sponsored by ASHRAE. Throughout the summer, she met with patent lawyers, researchers, government workers and former WISE interns to learn about how engineering interacts with policy and vice versa.

Between the meetings and field trips, WISE interns research and write a paper on a topical engineering-related public policy issue of their choosing. Beban analyzed wind energy generation facilities in the United States and the policy issues that surround the renewable energy industry.

Some people oppose wind energy generation for various reasons including economics and aesthetics, she said. Beban said the mechanical systems in the wind turbines and wind farms sparked her interest in the subject—

“the fact that we can erect these things, and they’ll move with the wind,” she said. “We can control them to turn them in the right direction, and all those moving parts is really appealing.”

Beban said she is “beyond grateful” to ASHRAE for sponsoring her internship this past summer.

“It definitely changed my career path (and) my interests,” she said.

Prior to this summer, she had experience working with energy-efficiency projects and policy at the local and state levels.

During the summer of 2016, Beban completed an internship where she worked on energy-efficiency projects in commercial and industrial buildings. She testified with other University of Dayton students at the Ohio Statehouse on the importance of Ohio unfreezing and enforcing renewable energy standards last school year.

Originally from Akron, Ohio, Beban studies mechanical engineering with a concentration in energy systems.