KY NSF EPSCoR is providing financial support for Kentucky postsecondary undergraduate students to sponsor their internship experience at these four Kentucky companies this summer.

EPSCoR Internship: Advanced Energy Materials, LLC

Principal Investigator: Vasanthi Sunkara
Student Institution: University of Louisville

EI Award

Under the guidance of ADEM Process Engineer, the summer intern will gain experience in nanomaterial preparation and titania production. Additionally the intern will also work under ADEM’s Nanosystems Engineer to prepare catalysts, test fuel samples, and sample material characterization and catalyst mechanical strength. At the completion of the internship, the co-op intern will benefit from learning several process and production engineering technician skills, specifically operating production equipment like catalyst extruder, high shear mixer, operating a calcination and belt furnace, and analyzing data in a total sulfur analyzer. The intern will also gain valuable entrepreneurial experience of working at a technology start-up company like ADEM by learning the complete process from technology innovation, IP protection, development and production of pilot scale material, and finally packaging the product for shipment.

EPSCoR Internship: FoodChain, LLC

Principal Investigator: Zach Perry
Student Institution: University of Kentucky

EI Award

Nonprofit organization FoodChain has experimented with using left over grains from beer production as a food source for tilapia, the 2019 FoodChain intern will investigate the possibility of developing a buoyant fish feed made from left over grains in cooperation with West Sixth Brewery.  The intern will also reconstruction and improvement of the barrelponics system in the company’s production line. FoodChain’s oldest aquaponics system is currently out of commission and was deconstructed for the new shrimp production system. The intern will replace the media bed system by designing a new stand and reconstruction the entire system for educational purposes.

EPSCoR Internship: MEMStim, LLC

Principal Investigator: Angelique Johnson
Student Institutions: University of Kentucky & University of Louisville

EI Award

Microelectrodes are used in a variety of medical device applications (i.e. cochlear implants, spinal cord stimulators, etc.) to modulate nervous system activities. While their use is expanding, many obstacles related to their size, flexibility and manufacturability are limiting improvements on current or future clinical applications. MEMStim cochlear electrode array products are designed to eventually establish clinical approval for in-vivo use. Part of the design requirements towards showing long term stability is to perform and collect mechanical and electrical data.

Therefore, part of this internship project at MEMStim LLC will seek to improve upon current elongation and flexible mechanical test set-ups. Secondly, while most of MEMStim’s technology focus has been on the development of the cochlear electrode array, methods to connect to current clinically approved stimulators needs to be researched in-depth. In addition, students will learn about the cleanroom facilities at the Micro/Nano Technology Center (MNTC) of the University of Louisville.

EPSCoR Internship: Power Tech Water, LLC

Principal Investigator: Lindsay Boehme
Student Institution: Bluegrass Community and Technical College

EI Award

Researchers at Power Tech Water are currently in the process of fabricating prototypes for industrial pilot testing and conducting fundamental R&D studies for drinking water purification. This internship would primarily focus on device fabrication and lab-scale testing for metals removal. The intern will assist with the testing of lab-scale CapCoTM devices, which will include materials and solution preparation, device assembly, and sample collection, with the overall goal being to identify and validate the most effective operating conditions and electrode material for each target metal. Additionally, the intern will generate a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for CapCoTM lab-scale testing.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438.

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