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Jan Broemmelhaus is Morris’s First J-1 Student Intern

A young man working at a computer
Sarah Freske ’18
Publication date: 
May 31, 2017

This spring the University of Minnesota, Morris saw the arrival of its first J-1 Student Intern, Jan Broemmelhaus of Ahaus, Germany. Broemmelhaus is working to develop clean energy solutions with the campus, the City of Morris, and the West Central Research and Outreach Center.

Coordinated by the International Student Services Program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, the J-1 Student Intern program provides career training for students. Broemmelhaus's internship was arranged by the Morris campus in partnership with the Münster University of Applied Sciences and through Morris's sister-city and technical partnership with the city of Saerbeck, Germany. This relationship is part of the Climate Smart Municipalities Program (CSMP), which pairs Minnesota cities with counterparts in Germany to support the spread of ideas about clean energy and sustainability.

"A big picture focus of this internship is around sustainability and climate and how we generate energy solutions for the 21st century," says Troy Goodnough, sustainability director and Broemmelhaus's day lead mentor. "We have a great opportunity to learn from each other, because our countries have different incentives and cultures. The purpose of the internship is training, so we're trying to offer Jan unique experiences available in our community."

Broemmelhaus is studying industrial engineering and majoring in environmental engineering at Münster University of Applied Sciences. As part of his five-month internship in the Office of Sustainability, he is developing a model of the campus's energy grid to help stakeholders make better decisions about clean energy. Broemmelhaus is working with the City to think about the potential for solar electricity for different buildings and city installations including the forthcoming water treatment plant. He also is spending some time at the West Central Research and Outreach Center learning about low-carbon agriculture.

Broemmelhaus believes there is much Germany and the US can learn from each other to tackle climate change. He values the connections and networking opportunities available to him through the internship. By the end of his trip, Broemmelhaus hopes to have developed a better understanding of the world and to have improved his English. So far, he has enjoyed his stay.

"There are a lot of cool things going on in Morris, like the wind turbines, the solar energy, and the biomass plant," he says. "Morris is great for renewable energy, and the people here are really kind."

The J-1 Student Intern program is available through International Student and Scholar Services. To learn more, visit