- You'll get a bright student eager to engage in real-world engineering problems.
- You can evaluate a prospective employee over an extended period in a work setting, without the commitment of making the hire first.
- If you’re favorably impressed with the student and you want to hire him or her upon graduation, their familiarity with you from the internship can be an asset to your recruiting.
UB CBE Internship Success stories:
William Scharmach, Development Specialist, Praxair:
Working with Praxair while obtaining my graduate degree was a great experience. My internship was focused on determining the potential market for a new nanoparticle synthesis reactor. This gave me great insight into the "business of science". When it comes to crafting a research proposal, understanding the economic impact as wells as the technical merits of your work is key to getting funding for your project. Working with Praxair also provided a new perspective for me and highlighted new opportunities to grow our project. We soon developed new goals to improve yields and reduce cost, and we refocused the system design and developed new materials to address customer needs. I have carried these skills with me as I have transitioned into my new role here at Praxair developing new waterless fracturing technologies.
From hiring manager Cynthia Hoover:
Having the opportunity to jointly work with a student while they are pursuing their graduate degree has been very beneficial for Praxair. It significantly reduces the transition time for the employee making the move from academia to industry. It also helps the student to be better informed as they are making the decision between academia and industry. In the case of Bill, he was able to work with us on Praxair relevant technology as part of his graduate research so he learned both about the importance of understanding the value of the technology you are developing and also specific skills on the use of gases for industrial applications.
Jaime Egnaczak, Plant Design Engineer, Praxair, and Alex Tomasik:
Praxair’s partnership with the University at Buffalo’s internship program has provided a platform to develop potential candidates into future employees.
Congratulations to Alex Tomasik, UB CBE alumnus, who was just appointed to his first full-time position after working at Praxair as a Chemical Engineering intern. Praxair'’s Summer Internship Program is designed to expose students to key areas across the business. Students work on challenging, high-profile assignments. Praxair interns contribute a fresh perspective to projects over the course of their internship.
Last summer Jaime Egnaczak, Plant Design Engineer, mentored Alex as he interned at the Praxair facility in Niagara Falls. He was able to contribute a unique analytical approach to interpret and evaluate a new project for liquid hydrogen plants. During his time at Praxair, Alex was able to learn from technicians and provide Praxair with cost savings opportunities. Little did Alex know, he was also teaching. Mentoring Alex provided Jaime with the opportunity to develop her personnel management and leadership skills, essential in any job setting. As a UB graduate herself, she tells us it was easy to see the core competencies of a successful Praxair employee in Alex: timely, organized, and a great work ethic.
Cindi Hoover, Senior R&D Director, and William Schmarch, Development Specialist I (and former intern), Praxair:
Bill: Working with Praxair while obtaining my graduate degree was a great experience. My internship was focused on determining the potential market for a new nanoparticle synthesis reactor. This gave me great insight into the "business of science". When it comes to crafting a research proposal, understanding the economic impact as well as the technical merits of your work is key to getting funding for your project. Working with Praxair also provided a new perspective for me and highlighted new opportunities to grow our project. We soon developed new goals to improve yields and reduce cost, and we refocused the system design and developed new materials to address customer needs. I have carried these skills with me as I have transitioned into my new role here at Praxair developing new waterless fracturing technologies.
Pulari Thangavelu and Richard Fike--Life Technologies
Life Technologies R&D at Grand Island had an idea for a new
product concept that was slightly outside of the research routinely
being performed. In addition, personnel were already assigned to other
projects which would make investigation into this new concept a lengthy
process. What was needed was someone who would be able to quickly and
succinctly understand the proposition and actively pursue an
appropriate investigation. After interviewing several candidates from
the surrounding Western New York area, Pulari Thangavelu (from UB) was
accepted into the summer internship program and began in June 2013. It
was noted early on that she was quick to form independent feasibility
hypotheses that were in fact researched over the next several months.
Having someone with an outside and independent viewpoint was a great
help in identification of lines of thought that resulted in a maximum
of relevant data acquisition in the least amount of time. The project
did meet its objectives as we learned how to reach set goals in a
slightly different manner from what was originally expected. Thanks to
Pulari’s dedicated efforts, this data stands in support of a new
product platform which is now gaining business development support.
“Thanks to the hard and
concerted work of Pulari Thangavelu through the Internship Program, a
new bioproduction platform is now known to be feasible that will
significantly improve safety of biopharmaceutical cell culture-related
products to the health industry.”
Submited by: Richard Fike, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Scientist
Life Sciences Solutions
CBE student strengths
Students thinking about internships typically will have finished their junior year of study in chemical engineering. This means that they’ve completed the core chemical engineering science courses (e.g., thermodynamics, transport, kinetics, separations, materials) and should be ready for some real engineering challenges. They will also have completed two CBE laboratory courses and thus have good exposure to important industrial practices such as safety, technical writing, basic use of equipment, and statistical analysis. Students who have succeeded in this rigorous curriculum will be ready for most challenges you can give them.
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