Skip to Main Content

2024 Net Zero Emerging Leaders


The Net Zero Emerging Leaders Internship grants are given to Oregon-serving architecture and engineering firms to employ students for a 12-week paid internship. The interns assist with the firms’ American Institute of Architects’ AIA 2030 Commitment, Carbon Leadership Forum’s MEP 2040 Commitment or Structural Engineering institute’s SE 2050 Commitment.

Energy Trust awarded grants to six firms, Bora Architecture & Interiors, DCI Engineers, Holmes Engineering, MWA Architects, Opsis Architecture, and Studio.e Architecture to employ interns from January to April 2024.

Niusha Manavi

Hailing from Tehran, Iran, Niusha was inspired to pursue architecture by Persian architect Hosein Amanat and her father, a civil engineer. She is a student in the M. Arch graduate program at Portland State University and has a bachelor’s degree in biology/genetics. What Niusha likes most about architecture is that there are no limits. She is eager to learn how firms incorporate sustainable design principles into their projects and use that knowledge to create more eco-friendly and innovative architectural solutions.

Nicholas Grant

Originally from Longmont, Colorado, Nicholas just finished an MS in structural engineering from Stanford University and has a BS in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is looking forward to exploring how embodied carbon data collection and analytics processes can be strengthened and made more efficient, as well as learning about emerging technologies and standards relating to building life cycle assessment.

Hayle Jones

Raised in Sacramento, California, Hayle is in her fifth year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an architectural engineering major and has already interned at Holmes US as a structural intern. She loves the subjective presence that architecture provides and how creative buildings can be when designed with intention. She is grateful to her family and friends for supporting her interest in pursuing structural engineering and is looking forward to digging deeper into sustainability.

Madeline Phillips

Madeline is a fifth-year architecture student at the University of Oregon. She loves the unique impact buildings can have on an individual and was inspired to go to school for architecture because of her interest in art and design. Madeline is looking forward to learning how materials impact the carbon footprint and energy use of a project, as well as strategies that work best to improve a building’s performance.

EJ Del Rosario

Born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in Portland, Oregon, EJ is currently in his third year of M. Arch studies at the University of Oregon PDX campus. As an immigrant, EJ realized he had a heightened sensitivity to his surroundings, both environmentally and culturally, and noticed how places affected him psychologically. He is looking forward to learning more about sustainable strategies and easier ways to achieve sustainability.

Willy Benjamin

The son of a stone mason and master gardener, Willy spent most of his twenties working as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal and building with natural materials in Colorado. He is an M. Arch student at the University of Oregon studying how to design buildings that connect humans with nature. During his internship, he is looking forward to exploring the embodied carbon impact of various materials and designs. Willy currently lives in a highly efficient, self-designed and built 260 sq. ft. tiny house.

Mentors at Participating Firms

Corey Squire
Bora Architecture & Interiors
Jessica Martinez
DCI Engineers
Megan Stringers
Holmes Engineering
Celia Crawford
MWA Architects
Heather DeGrella
Opsis Architecture
Jan Fillinger
Studio.e Architecture