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SHYFT Power Solutions Internship

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Positions: Data Science and Analytics Intern
Location: Oakland, CA
Innovation Area: Generation and Conversion, Storage, Transmission and Management
Position Type: TomKat Center-supported
Compensation: $7,500
Internship Term: 8 weeks

SHYFT Power Solutions is developing innovative hardware and software technology to enable and promote a transition to clean energy in emerging markets.  We are first working towards this vision in Nigeria, where a severe lack of energy infrastructure has led to widespread reliance on diesel generators. These generators are a highly costly and polluting solution for back-up power, making solar and battery storage suitable alternatives as prices of these technologies have decreased. Unfortunately, the integration of solar and storage solutions in this environment has been hindered by the complexity of the unpredictable grid performance and lack of well-proven providers in the market.

In order to address this market and create a turning point in the development of the distributed energy landscape, we have developed the SHYFT Smart Transfer Switch, a novel energy management platform that combines connected hardware and cloud software. The hardware portion of SHYFT is an intelligent and connected power switching system which replaces traditional changeover switches or Automatic Transfer Switches. Leveraging the unique capabilities of SHYFT as a connected switch, our software applications give users the ability to monitor, manage and control their energy systems conveniently. For users that do not yet have solar or storage, our software can recommend systems that would be affordable and reliable given the user’s individual energy consumption profile. Once a user does integrate solar and storage, the SHYFT system can be extended to provide monitoring and control over all of these energy sources, creating a complete and unique management platform.

With this platform as our starting point, we at SHYFT are looking to disrupt the traditional route of energy infrastructure development. We believe that it is possible to provide greater energy access and cleaner energy supply at the same time through intelligent and informed deployment of distributed solar and storage systems. We are excited to be working in market that is worth over $10 Billion in Nigeria alone, and seek to expand our focus around the world once we have launched in our first market.

We have been very honored to receive prizes and awards in recognition of the work we are doing, including the MIT Clean Energy Prize and Cisco Global Problem Solver Award, as well as investments and support from institutions such as the US Department of Energy,  Capital Factory, Powerhouse and Total Energy Ventures. We have sold product to initial customers and are working to build out further partnerships and distribution channels through 2020. We are a small but growing team, split between the US and Nigeria. We have had great experiences with previous TomKat interns and are looking forward to another this year!


Our Data Science and Analytics Intern will work during the summer of 2020 to help deliver on the unique value that our connected hardware and software systems can create through a project centered around the use, visualization, modeling, and/or analysis of data collected from our actively deployed products. The expected deliverable for this internship is a brief technical white paper that will be distributed to SHYFT’s network and followers to demonstrate our capabilities to derive real value and push forward the development of sustainable energy through our data. The topic of the white paper will be finalized in conjunction with the chosen intern closer to the start of the internship in order to ensure the analysis is both of interest to the candidate and adds value directly to the company’s ongoing projects. Some possible project topics include:

  • Predictive Analytics on Usage and Source Availability: Using our data streams (and others) to create predictive models for metrics like energy consumption and grid outage patterns. This will help provide more value to consumers and improve our models around energy system optimization.
  • Shared Community Energy Modeling : Building a model to represent flow of power within a residential development with shared renewable energy resources. Analysis and utilization of this model to show how SHYFT technology can improve the design and operation of real-life shared energy systems in residential developments in Nigeria.
  • Time-Series Data Visualization: Building visualization tools on top of our time-series database data to better understand energy patterns over time and in real time for individual sites, or across all sites with SHYFT hardware technology deployed.

Regardless of the topic selected, we will be looking for an intern who can deliver a project of real value to the company to help keep our development moving forward. The intern will be responsible for helping create a project outline and setting milestones and deliverables at the start of the summer. Over the course of the internship the intern will be in charge of leading this project and pushing forward its progress, finding assistance or support when needed. In addition to the independent project, the intern will join the rest of the team of company-wide meetings to learn more about the business as a whole, and will be integrated with the technical teams Agile development processes, such as Sprint planning meetings, Retros, and daily stand-ups.

Who Should Apply

Students who have an interest in renewable energy, sustainability, emerging markets and/or the use of data and critical thinking to solve meaningful issues. The ideal candidate will be excited to work with a small, tight-knit team on a challenging project. We are looking for people who want to think creatively to solve problems and envision new benefits and value from our technology, rather than just sit back and complete the bare minimum tasks. If you are excited to work in this area and think you could contribute towards our vision, then we would love to meet you.

Required Expertise

The exact requirements for the the position will be dependent on the project chosen. Therefore, not all of the requirements below would apply to every project, though we expect that all projects will involve at least some programming:

  • Proficiency with Octave, Matlab, R, Python or another programming language or package that can be used for analysis of large data-sets (likely required for almost all projects).
  • Previous work or academic role that shows ability to work closely with a team in a cooperative and supportive manner.
  • Previous work or academic role that shows ability to work independently and follow through with deliverables.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to communicate clear about complex and technical topics. 
  • Familiarity with energy concepts such as AC vs. DC, power vs. energy, voltage, and frequency, as well as working knowledge of solar energy system components is highly preferred
  • Back-end and/or front-end programming experience using Node.js, Angular JS, or Ionic (hybrid mobile) is a plus
  • Previous work with Influx DB or other time series database is a plus
  • Experience with model design and/or machine learning is also a big plus

Preferred Skills/Majors

Computer Science
Electrical Engineering
Other possible Majors could include:
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Or others!

  • Ability and desire to learn quickly
  • Attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to high-quality work
  • Good writing and communication skills are also important, since we hope you will be part of representing the SHYFT vision as we grow and expand.
  • Determination, problem solving and innovative attitude. We are tackling big problems in challenging environments, and it isn’t always simple!