The international research experiences for students (IRES) program addresses multidisciplinary research at the overlap of sustainability, power systems, and signal processing with the aim of improving efficiency in PV power generation. The IRES program engages faculty at the ASU SenSIP Center and at the University of Cyprus' (UCy) KIOS Center to address fault detection and other research problems in solar energy arrays. IRES participants are tasked with studying algorithms and software to monitor and control solar arrays. Research involves using data from programmable sensors embedded in smart monitoring devices (SMDs) that are attached to solar panels. The SMDs have sensors, actuators and radios that enable researchers to work with a solar array where every panel provides data. IRES participants are trained to use machine learning to assess the solar array condition. The program also trains the students to perform research and present results in international settings. In the first year of the project, four students travelled to the University of Cyprus and worked with UCy faculty on fault detection. The program included weekly research presentations by the students at UCy, presentations at a local workshop and continued engagement after the summer experience at ASU. Two of the students were able to present and publish their work in international conferences.