Engineers working in lab

Chemical Engineering Student Internships, Co-Ops and REUs

Above and beyond classes, independent study and involvement in research is encouraged for all interested students. This takes place often in the form of summer internships with industry and research centers, and REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) experiences in other universities. The following is a list of the amazing activities past and current Florida Tech chemical engineering students have worked on.


Joshua Calhoun ('25) worked on an internship at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa, Florida in summer 2023. FSEC is UCF’s research facility and they partner with many companies, one specifically: M2X Energy Inc. During the internship, Joshua worked on an individual project revolving around gas chromatography and was tasked with reviving and aligning it with the currently operational GC systems. Additionally, he also worked on a group project to design  a hydrogen membrane separation unit. Joshua also performs undergraduate research in Dr. Reza’s Biofuels lab on projects involving making hydrochar out of Sargassum (washed seeweed).

Russell Smith ('25) worked as a R&D Engineering Intern at Stryten Energy for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs) in summer 2023. The internship primarily involved researching the surface electrochemistry between the electrodes and electrolytes for vanadium batteries and designing experiments (DOEs) for VRFB projects and worked extensively with Arbin instruments, cyclic voltammetry, assembling VRB fuel cells, and performing charge/discharge experiments.

Isabella Luznar ('25) worked on an internship in summer of 2023 at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a management and operations company responsible for the Departments of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. During this internship, Savannah had the opportunity to improve her skills in project management and administration by updating schedule tracking applications, reorganizing communication sites, and leading an object scanning project to aid in the site's mission.

Taylor Disharoom ('25) had the opportunity to work for Consolidated Nuclear Security at the Y-12 National Security Complex as a Process Engineering Intern in summer 2023. The summer project included creating a calculator to model a uranium purification process and presenting the work to managers and engineers at the company.

Robert Cheatham ('24) worked in the precious metal catalyst division at BASF in summer 2023 to insitute off-the-shelf technology and generate new source of revenue for the company. In addition, he also performs undergraduate research in Dr. Reza’s group working on projects that utilize hydrothermal carbonization activated waste to achieve an environmentally forward solution resulting in 2 published papers entitled “Deep eutectic solvent pretreatment alters surface morphology and functionality of activated hydrochar resulting in enhanced carbon dioxide capture” and “Unveiling the role of biopolymers in surface porosity and CO2 capture capacity of biomass-derived activated hydrochars". 

Marcus Rivera ('24) worked on an internship in summer of 2023 with Navy Strategic Systems Program (Navy SSP) on the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) program. The program is referred to as a tri-party program, which includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Navy SSP. The FBM program is the number one nuclear deterrent system against global nuclear warfare in the US and UK. In addition, in Fall 2023, Marcus is working on an independent study with Dr. Xiang He on how defects affect the mechanical properties and electrochemical properties of metal organic frameworks (MOFs). 


Susan Nelson ('25) worked as a Safety Engineering Intern for CITGO in summer 2022. During her internship. Susan received training in proper safety procedures, and toured the plant for shadow safety audits. She also worked on organizing incomplete LOPAs (Layer of Protection Analysis). In addition, Susan went through certain chemicals to determine the proper safety procedures to have them stored, comparing it against the OSHA standards for chemical storage.

Jeremy Land ('24) worked in the Guisbert Lab at Florida Tech, doing biological research. This research entailed conducting lifespan assays with several variants of genetically engineered Caenorhabditis elegans. The goal was to determine how expression of Heat Shock Factor (HSF) proteins affect life expectancy in C. elegans. As most molecular pathways are conserved in eukaryotes, including humans, these results could be used to better understand and mitigate the effects of aging.

Jamielyn Jarvis  ('23) participated in the University of South Carolina’s CO2 REU program. She worked on carbon capture, more specifically analyzing the effect of H2O on the CO2 working capacity of pristine 13X zeolite and 13X that was modified using molecular layer deposition. She also worked in Dr. Kishore's Functional Biomaterials laboratory at Florida Tech and gained hands on experience in cell culture, cell-based assays, as well as microscopy techniques such as confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Hunter Smith ('23) worked on an internship at Gerdau Steel Production plant in Virginia to help improve the melt shop production process. He mainly learned about new equipment installation and writing procedures on how to operate the machinery. One of the main equipment that Hunter worked on was an optical emission spectrometer with a robot arm to allow for automatic and rapid processing of steel samples. 


Neel Dodhia ('24) worked at Halar Industries Limited, a waste plastics recycling company in Nairobi, Kenya as a R&D intern. His role entailed testing and developing ways to process hard to recycle plastics such as PET, HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE. Neel also helped the company develop SOPs for testing the quality and content of plastics being used in the recycling process.

Daniel Buwalda ('22) worked as a R&D intern during the summer of 2021 at Helicon Chemical in Orlando FL, a start-up company that primarily develops fuel additives for rocket propulsion and also has other projects concerning energetic nanoparticles. 

Dylan Huss ('21) worked remotely on an internship with Solar Transport Systems, United Kingdom in summer 2021. During this internship, she worked on the INDI Solar Powered Car Project and investigated on the state of solar cells and panels in the pursuit of a fully sustainable project. She participated in a 6-hour training course by Solar Energy International on Renewable Energy, modeled wiring layouts for the arrangement of solar cells with diodes, initiated communication with vendors, and searched literature and user forums for design knowledge and recommendations.

Dylan Huss ('21) interned in the In-Situ Resource Utilization group at NASA (Houston, TX) supporting the engineering development to mine the Moon for water ice. She conducted safety calculations with dry ice in closed spaces and used the NASA Lessons Learned database as a basis for Preliminary Design Review requirements. She also reviewed test data and made flow comparisons in 1-g versus 1/6-g using video analysis and PowerPoint features.

Angelina Noll ('21) worked on an internship at Collins Aerospace in Jacksonville Florida in summer 2021. In her role as general engineering intern, Annie worked on creating infusion panels with carbon composite materials. She also performed analysis of both chemical and physical properties of the panels. In addition, she worked on a batch reactor processor and helped write the user’s manual for it.

Wendy Zhou ('23) worked on an electrochemisty project in the laboratory of Dr. Pavithra Pathirathna in the Chemistry program at Florida Tech assisting in research focused on detecting toxic metals in human blood.

Jamielyn Jarvis ('23) worked in Dr. Takenaka's research lab at Florida Tech focusing on organic catalysis. Here, she learned about different characterization apparatus and techniques for synthesis and purification of catalysts. 


Ethan Kennedy ('20) interned at Engineered Polymer Products (EPP) during the Summer of 2019 and 2020. His work entailed assisting in process engineering of polyurethane and in the production of composites for undersea applications. He also worked on developing new cost-effective methods for the production of these materials.

Jessica Peterson ('20) worked on an internship at Northrop Grumman during the Summer of 2020. In her role as a product owner, she headed a group of 9 interns and oversaw a software tool for the entire software development life cycle.  She also designed front-end user interface dashboard and pages for new software tool using HTML, analyzed Sprint methods in Agile for software tools team to increase productivity, and accelerated the on-boarding process of new hires and interns over the summer. 


Reed Coffey ('20) worked on an internship at L3 Harris in Palm Bay, Florida. His work entailed manufacturing printed circuit boards and assisting electrolytic and electroless copper and nickel plating baths. He also worked on building a self-replenishing acd-etcher system for copper etching.

Jack Carson ('20) worked at the Florida Tech Polymer Research lab at Florida Tech in Summer 2019. His main duties were to formulate, produce, and test prototype flame-retardant polyurethane foams for various clients.

Jessica Peterson ('20) worked at Titan America LLC where she batched, tested, and evaluated fresh and hardened properties and mechanisms of concrete. She also built the State of Florida Batching Accuracy Manual for Titan America plant supervisors.

Audrey Keenan ('21) worked on an internship at Southern Petroleum Laboratories at Houston, TX. She was responsible for performing analyses of hydrocarbon liquid and gas samples in a high volume laboratory. Analyses included crude assay, reid vapor pressure, total sulfur content, and gas chromatography.


Jessica Peterson ('20) worked on an internship at Northrop Grumman Corporation in Summer 2018. During her internship, Jessica headed a group of 4 people in software network development analysis and also contributed to standup of two unclassified development systems by constructing multiple complete system interconnect diagrams and spreadsheets.

Hirad Ahmad ('19) worked on an internship at Chemical Engineering Works and Foundries Pvt Ltd in Pakistan. The company specializes in casting and machining products mainly for the automotive industry. Hirad learned a variety of different skills during his internship that include melting, casting and quality assurance as well as material processing techniques such as annealing, tempering and carburizing.


Thais Sousa ('18) worked as a paper production intern at Copelme S.A., Cochabamba, Bolivia in Summer 2017. She worked in the manufacturing area where she performed sample analysis using alkalinity and hardness tests. She tested color combinations used for the production of recycled paper napkins. She also designed flow charts for the company's residual water treatment plant using SmartDraw.

Martha Perez Linares ('18) worked on an internship at Goldman Sachs in Summer 2017. She worked as a business analyst that gave her the opportunity to interact with colleagues with different backgrounds in the finance industry and helped develop her critical and analytical skills. She gained experience in automating and standardizing different processes to improve efficiency and reduce associated costs. 

Marina Debiasi ('18) worked on an internship at Ford motor company in the electrified powertrain engineering (EPE) department of product development in the battery cell modeling and integration team. She worked on modeling the 2020 battery electric vehicle and earned a certification in high voltage training which allowed her to view battery testing.

Sierra Melton ('18) participated in a research project at Florda Tech focusing on developing a new method to monitor underground nuclear testing by detecting emission of radioactive gases. Specifically, she investigated the effects of atmospheric stability and wind speed on the concentration of emitted gases in the soil and plants. This research was sponsored by the US department of state's verification fund.

Javaz Rolle ('18) worked on an internship at a pharmaceutical plant in Freeport, Bahamas. His work at Pharmachem Grand Bahama Limited involved performing various calculations involving pumps, filter dryers, reactors and cooling towers. He also assisted engineers with equipment alterations around the plant.


Jillian Collins ('18) worked as an engineering intern at Novinium in Summer 2016. She designed and conducted experiments to measure the permeability, viscosity and absorption rates of cable rejuvenation with silicon based fluids. At the end of her internship, she presented her findings to the Novinium engineering team.

Samantha Estabrooks ('18) worked as a materials engineering intern at Mainstream Engineering in Rockledge, FL in Summer and Fall 2016. Her project focused on gas storage using carbon nanotubes. She also worked independently on the development of a novel material to be used in heat spreaders.


Kristen Safford ('18) worked in a internship at RSA Corporation in Danbury, CT in Summer 2014 and Summer 2015. During her internship, Kristen learned about different types of analysis such as titrations and IR spectrometry. She also gained knowledge on batch reactors.

Abdullah Kurdi ('16) worked on an internship at Aramco Research Center in Cambridge, MA in Summer 2015. He worked in the Downstream Department with the Advanced Materials team for developing an enhanced catalyst. His duties included characterizing the catalysts using thermal analysis, microscopy and spectroscopy. He compiled a report and presented his work to the Downstream Department at the completion of his internship.

Kristin Howe ('16) performed research at the University of South Carolina in Summer 2015. Her research focused on the process of catalytic tri-reforming to convert methane and carbon dioxide to syngas (hydrogen and carbon monooxide) for use in the production of diesel fuel. She synthesized nickel nanoparticle catalysts and tested them in reactors by flowing the tri-reforming gas mixture at high temperatures. She used x-ray diffraction to characterize the catalysts and gas chromatography to analyze the output stream from the reactor.

Hani Baatiyyah ('16) worked on an internship at Schlumberger in Saudi Arabia in Summer 2015. He worked as a mud engineer and his duties included testing and analyzing the various physical properties (e.g. density, viscosity) of mud. Hani also attended a safety course to handle chemicals such as H2S.

Hamed Al Hinai ('16) worked on an internship at Schlumberger in the Sultanate of Oman in Summer 2015. During this internship, Hamed worked with hydraulic seating tools and coil tubing system. He performed Reynolds number calculations and monitored temperature, pressure difference and velocity during the oil recovery process.

Craig Boger ('16) worked on an internship at Harris Corporation in Palm Bay, FL in Summer 2015. He worked as a Microelectronics intern and some of his duties included creating a data analysis software in Excel VBA to recognize valid data sets, researching on methods of materials surface preparation and cleaning for scaled down applications, and performing materials and contaminate analysis with optical and electron microscopy techniques. Craig also employed contaminate prevention methods for manufacture of MEMS and learned about printed circuit board fabrication.

Samantha Martinez ('16) participated in the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Fossil Energy) in Summer 2015. She worked on establishing a financial model to optimize the recovery of rare earth elements from new mines. As a part of the program, she also visited several power plants and production plants and presented her research at a technical forum in Pittsburgh. 

Katherine Stewart ('16) worked on an internship at Harris Corporation in Summer 2015. She worked in grade 1000 and 10000 cleanrooms and her duties included studying, analyzing and proposing solutions to problems in research and development in Wafer Level Processing.

Emmanuel Akpan ('16) worked on an internship at SAPA Precision Tubing in Rockledge, FL in Summer 2015. He worked as a Statistical Process Control intern and his duties included data collection and generating statistical process control charts to develop and document reaction plan. 

Ashley Vezina ('16) performed research at Dr. Xu's lab in the department of biology at Florida Tech in Summer 2015. Her project focused on Alzheimer Disease pathogenesis. She studied gel formation and amyloid fiber formation rates associated with Alzheimers by incubating different regions of sheep brain in an amyloidgenic protein solution. 

Troy Bakley ('16) worked on an internship at iBox Printers in Summer 2015. During this internship, Troy helped develop a production 3D printer.


Sarah Qaiser ('16) worked as a Quality Control Technician at Absolutely Natural Inc. in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. Her duties included performing visual, olfactory, pH, viscosity, specific gravity and microbial tests on incoming raw materials and manufactured skin products.

Corey Mason ('16) worked on an internship at DRS Technologies in Melbourne, FL in Summer 2014. He worked as Government property intern and was involved with managing inventory and conducting audits at plant locations. During the internship, Corey got first hand experience working in a large scale production plant and he learned about planning, team work and other key aspects involved in manufacturing products.


Sydney Smead ('14) worked on an internship at Appleton, WI in Summer 2013. Her duties included research industry testing protocols, construct and execute a green chemistry experiment, apply company's existing capabilities to new markets and technologies, participate in a Kaizan event to standardize research project pipeline.

Amy Frydryck ('14) worked on an internship at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA during the Summer of 2013. She worked to create a GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) method to analyze FAME species. She presented the results from her work to the Metabolism group at Pfizer.

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