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Meet James Consiglio

I interned at Neste US this summer in Houston, TX. Neste produces renewable diesel (RD) and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for companies across the globe, and they are an active participant in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) market. I applied for an internship with Neste because I am studying bioenergy here at UIUC, and I want to work in the renewable fuels industry after graduating.

I was placed on the Feedstock Growth team, whose responsibilities include researching potential sourcing partners and investigating future feedstocks that meet their technical and sustainability standards. I loved talking with all the members on the team and hearing about their roles, the keys that make the team successful, and learning about where the feedstock market is heading in the future. My goals for the summer were twofold. The first was to create dynamic dashboards that track several feedstocks in the US, like used cooking oil, corn oil, and animal fats. We incorporated supply and demand data, export figures, and historical prices, and combined them with market research forecasts. This data aggregation allows the Feedstock Growth team to visualize market trends in real time to assist with strategy and decision making. The second goal was to research commercial deep fryers to understand the innovations and technologies that would impact the used cooking oil market in the near future. Fryer companies are advertising reduced oil volume (ROV) fryers that would save restaurants 40%-50% of their cooking oil. I learned that many market dynamics would factor into ROV adsorption rates in the next 3-6 years.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Neste and in Houston. All the employees who worked in the office were really supportive and eager to answer any questions we had. All the interns hung out outside of work and got along really well. A highlight was Food Truck Thursday, where a new food truck would arrive and we’d all race down to try it. The internship also aligned with a visit from the CEO from Finland, and all the interns had a chance to meet him and tell him about our experiences and work progress. I’m now 100% committed to working at a place like Neste after graduating.

To find out more about the Professional Science Master’s in Bioprocessing and Bioenergy, use this link.