Internship | Tackle Climate Change with our Green ICT
About this position
ICT use has increased tremendously in the past decades. One aspect that has only recently started to receive more attention is its impact on our climate. Current estimations are that the impact of ICT is already larger than the impact of the aviation sector! At TNO, we are actively working on limiting the CO2e emissions of our digital infrastructure and ICT usage and thereby enhancing its sustainability. About this position At TNO, we are on a mission to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing the climate impact of ICT usage. To achieve this, we are doing research in various areas such as measuring CO2e emissions, life cycle analysis of hardware, infrastructure optimization, software optimization, modeling user behavior, business modeling and policy analysis. We are looking for motivated students who share our mission of a more sustainable future for the ICT sector.
What will be your role?
We are working on various aspects of the (climate-related) sustainability of our ICT use. In this, we have multiple research lines in various projects, focusing broadly on the entire digital infrastructure. We are looking for students in all research lines, and we will be tailoring the assignment together to fit both TNO’s and your interests. We are looking specifically for students that are specializing in one of our research areas, and not so much from students with a broad background covering a range of topics.
Do you want to be working on reducing the climate effects of AI services such as ChatGPT? Do you believe our screen addictions are not helpful for a sustainable ICT future? Do you want to contribute to more efficient cloud platforms or future 5G and 6G mobile networks? Or do you think the government should take more action? If you feel motivated to achieve more sustainability in ICT and make a meaningful impact during your internship, please contact us!
Internships are aligned with our research, which covers:
- The measurement of energy use of ICT services (scope 2 emissions). ICT services range from Netflix and TikTok to online banking, Google search, social networking, ChatGPT and many business applications. Various hardware components are used while using these services, including servers in a cloud environment, routers in the network, computers, and smartphones. Our objective is to measure and model the energy consumption of these hardware components and create algorithms for allocating the energy usage among different services.
- Increase efficiency of ICT itself. Current ICT design did not have sustainability as a design criterium. This is slowly changing for the better. Obviously, newer hardware is often more efficient, but it should not stop here. Services can be optimized, AI algorithms can be improved, cloud usage can be orchestrated, and software can be developed more sustainable.
- Analysis of the impact of the hardware itself (scope 3 emissions). The production, shipment, installation, and teardown of all hardware also has a large climate impact. We work on modelling this impact through Life Cycle Analysis, covering all climate aspects during the hardware lifetime. Part of this research includes supplying models that calculate the impact of changes in behavior of ICT providers and ICT users.
- Studying the user behavior of ICT services. The use of ICT is obviously driven by demand, even though demand is influenced by a lot of innovation as well. As with food, travel, and other consumption, we feel everyone must contribute to making more sustainable choices. We broadly study the user behavior in ICT use: what are the motivations for ICT use? How to stimulate digital sobriety? What are the side/rebound effects of reduced ICT use?
- Studying market forces and policy effects. Obviously, companies in the ICT sector have a substantial influence on the sustainability of the sector. What are their motivations for working on sustainability? How does this affect their business models and bottom line? Also, their activities are influenced by government policies and regulations. How can the government positively influence the ICT sector? Which options are available and what options are effective?
We offer both thesis internships and regular internships. The expected duration of a thesis internship project is 6-9 months including the possibility of writing your thesis and/or taking part in writing a scientific paper. Regular internships may range anywhere between 3 to 9 months.
- Your work is part of a bigger effort, you will be working within a team of about 20 people working on various aspects of the sustainability of ICT use.
- Depending on the assignment, the main TNO location will differ. The locations involved are The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Groningen. You will be expected to work on location, with the option of working part of your week from home.
- Depending on your results, publishing the results in a scientific paper may be possible, targeting a high-impact academic or industrial conference.
What we expect from you
Top students are invited to apply. We are looking for students with a range of backgrounds, from technical studies, psychology and social studies, economic and business studies, etc. A strong motivation to help reduce climate impact is expected! We expect a pro-active attitude, enthusiasm, curiosity, and an eagerness to learn and explore.
What you'll get in return
The opportunity to contribute to a challenging project with real impact. An internship at TNO is a great preparation for your career, whether you’d rather go into academia, or industry and commerce. And what about applied research, where you’ll work at the interface of both? That’s what you’ll get to experience at TNO: the best of both worlds. At TNO, we value you and your knowledge. You are essential to our innovations, and we’ll invest in your personal and career development. Which starts with working with the best experts in your field!
You may also expect:
- A gross monthly salary of €475 based on a 40-hour week.
- 1 day leave per month.
- A hybrid-working arrangement that works for you. We will provide you with a laptop so you can work from home for up to 60% of your working time.
- Networking opportunities and fun activities organized by our junior staff organization Young TNO.
- Regular coaching from your advisor.
- An employer that recognizes and stimulates diverse talents, through initiatives such as our Female Leadership program, our Rainbow Community and round-table discussions on topics related to inclusion.
- If you like your experience, the prospect of a job as a junior scientist at TNO. Did you know that 28% of our vacancies are filled by our former interns?
TNO as an employer
At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.
At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.
The selection process
After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.
Has this job opening sparked your interest?
Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.