and Water Resources Engineering Graduate Student
The IE Pre-grad internship was a valuable experience that I would recommend to undergraduates and graduates alike. For graduate students, there is no better way to really learn material than by having to teach the information yourself. I profited greatly in both my mentoring skills and my understanding of my research by explaining the details to someone else on a daily basis. Additionally, the undergraduates that enroll in this program are extraordinarily capable and very helpful in helping move the research forward. My intern, Sherry Cheng, was enormously helpful in the day to day research tasks and in helping me brainstorm new research ideas.
Concurrently, the undergraduates receive valuable lab experience by following a detailed research project through much of its pursuit. The experience provides insight into the patience, long-term thinking, and detailed planning required for effective scientific research.
My intern Sherry and I investigated the potential for different microorganisms to remove a harmful drinking water contaminant, bromate. While the idea of using bacteria to remove harmful contaminants is not a new one, we are now beginning to understand and search for the different microbial and molecular processes that facilitate effective removal of these contaminants. In essence we are focusing in on the more fundamental removal processes. Our research on bromate removal is one such project that seeks to understand these fundamental processes.
In May of this past year, Sherry and I presented our research findings at the American Society of Microbiology annual conference in Toronto with the help of an IE Pre-Grad Travel Grant. The conference was a great experience for the both of us, and it was exciting to present our research on such a large international stage. I would highly recommend this program for those considering it.