Chemistry student has rewarding internship at Tekne Finalist, T3 Scientific

T3Scientific_BryanV_story
November 11, 2014

MHTA – Bryan Voigt began his summer internship search the way many students do: he “Googled it.” When MHTA’s SciTechsperience Internship Program showed up in the top 3 results, he decided to apply.

Voigt, a junior majoring in chemistry at Gustavus Adolphus College and Mitchell Hunt, another SciTechsperience student, were both hired by T3 Scientific in Blaine. Voigt and Hunt were among 117 students to find internships through SciTechsperience during the 2014 program year.

“I got to mix chemicals all day long,” Voigt told about forty fellow students during Chemistry seminar last Friday, adding with a big smile, “It was really cool.” Becky Siekmeier, the Director of SciTechsperience, was at Gustavus to let students know about the program and invited Voigt to share his adventure at T3 Scientific with his classmates.

Voigt optimized the deposition of palladium, a lustrous, silvery-white noble metal . The thin-film palladium membrane could then be used to produce ultra-pure hydrogen gas. “I learned a lot about palladium and fell in love with it through working at T3,” Voigt said.

While Voigt performed chemistry duties, Hunt, a chemical engineering major at University of North Dakota, worked on testing the fabricated membranes and complex characterization instruments.

Voigt also had the opportunity to talk with instrumentation manufacturers and set up new instruments in the lab. “Working at T3 Scientific was a good look into industry and how it functions as a whole,” he said.

The lab at T3 Scientific is modest in size but with advanced equipment. The company is one of three Tekne Award finalists in the Advanced Manufacturing category. The award honors technological innovation in the manufacturing process to increase speed, accuracy and reduce costs, while minimizing environmental impact.

Voigt highly recommended SciTechsperience to his classmates. “I filled out one application for a variety of opportunities,” he told them.

Although job postings on the site provide a good deal of information about each internship, Voigt found that he was able to learn even more by emailing the company contact listed on the site. He also recommended having someone else review resumes and cover letters, adding “My mom helped me…she’s an MBA.”

When asked what his top three takeaways of the internship were, Voigt shared the following:

  1. Learning how to do lab work (use the fume hood!) and problem solve on his own;
  2. Communicate the results – convey what happened and why, and what needs to be done next; and
  3. He thought he wanted to be a chemical engineer, but learned he’s more interested in chemistry and materials science.

It was clear from his comments that Voigt is proud of the work he did at T3 Scientific. He looks forward to hearing how the company does at the Tekne Awards this Thursday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. To see all the Tekne Award finalists visit TekneAwards.org [http://www.tekneawards.org/].

Employers and students can learn more about SciTechsperience and apply at SciTechMN.org or contact Becky Siekmeier at beckys@mhta.org.

Pictured above: Dr. Siu-Yue Tam, Mitchell Hunt, Bryan Voigt, and Dr. Andy Tsai

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