P2 Intern Program

Does your business want to explore P2 opportunities but lack time or human capital? A P2 Intern can give your facility an environmental jumpstart. Watch this 10 minute video for an overview of the program. 

Business application for Circuit Rider intern

Business application screening begins the December prior to the internship summer.

Student application Application deadline extended to March 31, 2021 at 5:00 PM

P2 Intern Program Overview

This nonregulatory, summer program is designed to link engineering and environmental sciences students with business and industry. P2 is about eliminating waste and pollutants at the source. The interns' research projects lead to higher operating efficiency, decreased regulatory compliance burdens, and smaller environmental footprints for their host companies.

Student interns work with technical advisors from PPI and their on-site supervisors for ten weeks, gaining hands-on experience in industry while applying pollution prevention strategies to solve environmental management challenges and to add value to company operations.

Businesses gain well-developed, specific options that benefit the company bottom line and the Kansas environment through projects that target:

  • energy and water use
  • toxic chemicals
  • air emissions
  • haazardous and solid wastes
  • employee risks


Case Summaries

Curious about our Pollution Prevention projects? We have over 90 case studies from interns in a variety of industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who sponsors the program?

Primary funding for coordinating the intern program comes from the EPA's National P2 Grants.

Who can apply?

The program is open to engineering and sciences students enrolled at accredited Kansas colleges or universities and who will have at least a junior standing by the start of the internship summer.

Any business, industry, facility, or entity from Kansas can host an intern if viable pollution prevention projects have been identified. If you have questions about whether your projects qualify, contact the Intern Coordinator.

How are interns paid?

In most cases, students are hired as employees of the Pollution Prevention Institute through Kansas State University. The interns submit bi-weekly timesheets that are reviewed by their on-site supervisors and paid by K-State, then intern hosts are billed at the end of each month. This billing uses the fringe benefit rate defined by K-State for student employees enrolled in less than 6 credit hours.

PPI covers the interns’ travel reimbursements to and from the host company for training purposes. Site-specific requirements (e.g. personal protective equipment) are the responsibility of the host company but are tracked by PPI as part of matching funds reporting required by the grant. Interns are responsible for their housing for the internship.

Interns are responsible for moving and acquiring their temporary summer housing before the start of their 10-week on-site internship and for the cost of temporary housing. However, host companies are encouraged to assist their intern identify short-term housing opportunities in their communities, or nearby, to expedite this transition at the onset of the internship.

What will hosting an intern cost?

The total investment for an intern (before implementing projects) is about $7920.

As university student employees, interns are capped at 40 hours per week.

$18/hour * 40 hour/week * 11 weeks = $7920

How are interns trained?

The first week of the internship involves classroom training for the interns on  pollution prevention strategies for industrial environments, hosted at K-State. Topics include universal subjects like utility bills, lighting, water conservation, toxics reduction, and solid waste as well as project-specific subjects such as motors, pumps, steam systems, or waste recovery. Principles from this training will be advantageous to  future career opportunities.

What happens during the internship?

Interns spend the first week in training and spend 10 weeks on-site, collecting data and writing reports.

All intern reports are submitted to the on-site supervisor, intern coordinator, and other assigned pollution prevention or energy specialists. PPI reviews these reports for technical content and provides feedback and guidance on the intern’s activities.

An intern reports his or her activities and findings each week. Halfway through the internship, all interns attend a retreat where they submit a 30-50% progress report and present project status.

A written final report is due at the end of the internship.  This document is a report for the host company and contains the intern’s methods, findings, and recommendations. PPI encourages interns to present their findings to their host companies and/or project stakeholders and maintains copies of their reports for at least five years.

The intern also develops a case study that will be published on PPI’s website after the internship, once the host company has approved its content.

Finally, interns present their projects to the EPA in mid-September. These presentations are open to the public to attend.

I don’t know if my projects qualify...

Start by contacting the Intern Coordinator, Lynelle Ladd: email address lladd@ksu.edu or 800.578.8898 (hotline).

PPI staff can visit on-site to assist in identifying projects.

For companies that only have one or two projects or aren't ready for a full-time intern, there is the circuit rider option. Instead of working with a single company for 10 weeks, a circuit rider intern typically visits 4-6 related industries for 1-2 days over the summer and focuses on one or two projects per company. Additionally, short-term internships of 4-5 weeks can be made available in the right circumstances and locations, where two companies located in a community would split the intern’s time at each site.


“The most memorable part of my internship was getting to see another side of manufacturing that I’ve never been exposed to.” -PPI intern

“I'm always impressed by K-State “PPI” interns. I appreciate their efforts and results.” -Intern host company

“I learned so much about pollution prevention and could honestly see myself doing pollution prevention type projects in my future career.“ -PPI intern

“Everything worked out great, we appreciate all of their help.” -Small business client

"The most valuable part of my internship was acquiring environmental principles that I will carry along with me for life.” -PPI intern