Mary Carmen Rivera, a senior chemical engineering major at Texas A&M University, is participating in the RAPID Intern Program this summer.
The RAPID Intern Program is an opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct research with RAPID members, including both universities and industry members. The virtual PI leadership program, which overlays the work students are already doing at RAPID member organizations, provides students with PI leadership training and professional development skill-building opportunities like networking, career discovery, and public speaking/presenting.
Rivera is currently focusing her efforts on the RAPID Synthesis of Operable Process Intensification Systems (SYNOPSIS) project under primary investigator Stratos Pistikopoulos within the Texas A&M Energy Institute. She is specifically working on the development of a software prototype to automate the design and optimization of a reactive distillation column case study. This “Synthesizer Suite” includes a python Graphical User Interface (GUI) to received user data integrated with the General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) to generate and visualize the optimal process solution.
“I like that the internship was designed to work alongside our own projects to enrich our understanding of what process intensification is, what has been accomplished during its practice, and where there is room for improvement,” said Rivera, “In addition, I was happy that the program gave some focus to the development of our soft skills like critical thinking and communication in addition to providing technical knowledge. I am grateful I was able to participate in this program, because unfortunately process intensification is not widely taught at school, and I might not have had any PI experience otherwise.”
The RAPID Student Intern Program includes the following:
- Technical project work on a project advancing process intensification or modular process design.
- Virtual leadership development training, including 1-2 weekly webinars or eLearning courses.
- Virtual RAPID Intern community and an ability to network and collaborate with other RAPID interns.
- The opportunity to develop and present a presentation on their intern experience to a panel of RAPID members and network with RAPID representatives.