In the first installment of the Meet the Spring 2021 RAPID Interns spotlight series, we are highlighting four of the students who are participating in the Spring 2021 program. Scroll down to learn more about Kathy Hu, a Master's candidate at Oregon State University; Chris Parker, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh; Miriam Blaine, an undergraduate at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Chris Montevecchi, a Master's student at North Carolina State University.

Kathy Hu

Kathy Hu, a 1st year Master's student in Mechanical Engineering attending Oregon State University, is working on a project entitled "Design and Manufacture of a Process-Intensified Water Gas Shift Reactor" in the Fronk lab. Kathy's goal over the last ten weeks was to manufacture a graphite gasket, synthesize a catalyst, and characterize the catalyst. The ultimate goal of Kathy's project is to manufacture a process-intensified water gas shift microreactor and advance the future of hydrogen production.

What are your career aspirations?

"I wish to advance the future of renewable energy and sustainable building technologies in any capacity I can."

What are your thoughts on the RAPID Intern Program so far?

"The RAPID intern program has provided me with the opportunity to connect with others in a field that I am very much new to. I’ve gotten to delve deeper into the world of process intensification, which is exactly what my research focus is on. I appreciate the structure and organization of the program because it adds an extra level of accountability to my research. I also love being able to talk about what I’m doing with others that understand the importance of my work. All in all, this program has been a great experience and I am excited to see how it will evolve in the future."


Chris Parker

Chris Parker, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, is working on a project entitled "Polyolefin Pyrolysis via Liquid Metal Catalysis" in the Veser Lab. Chris is developing a screening reactor for liquid metal catalysts, and screen liquid metals for catalytic activity. Then, or concurrently, apply these catalysts to polyolefin pyrolysis reactions.

What are your career aspirations?

"After I achieve my PhD I would like to apply my engineering, design, and leadership skills to industrial projects at the intersection of reaction engineering and sustainability. At a higher level my goal is to make the world a better place, and operate at the peak of my potential as an engineer, researcher, and educator."

What are your thoughts on the RAPID Intern Program so far?

"This internship has been an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded engineers to build engineering skills and understand a variety of different use cases related to process intensification. The educational resources we have reviewed are helpful to understanding PI at a philosophical and technical level while building intuitively off of traditional engineering concepts."

Miriam Blaine

Miriam Blaine, a 5th year undergraduate chemical and biomolecular engineering student at Georgia Institute of Technology, is working on a project entitled "Development and Demonstration of Novel Thermal Technologies for Enhanced Air-side and Two-phase Performance of CPI- relevant Heat Exchangers" in the GT-EQUAL program. Miriam is performing technoeconomic analysis of enhanced air-side heat transfer and process-side condensation technologies in heat exchangers, including multi-scale modeling and system optimization of industry-relevant processes. 

What are your career aspirations?

"I plan to continue my education, advancing my technical knowledge base and research skills. Ultimately, I hope to have a research and development role focusing on energy efficiency and pollution prevention."

What are your thoughts on the RAPID Intern Program so far?

"The RAPID Intern Program has been an incredible resource for gaining a greater technical knowledge of process intensification and modular processing. It has also provided an opportunity for valuable professional development and networking with other students in chemical engineering and related fields." 

Chris Montevecchi

Chris Montevecchi, a Master's student at North Carolina State University, is currently focused on a project entitled "Modular Conversion of Stranded Ethane to Liquid Fuels" in the Westmoreland group.

What are your career aspirations?

"My goal is to have a career in research and design with a focus on PI and other novel technologies in industry."

What are your thoughts on the RAPID Intern Program so far?

"The RAPID Intern Program is a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals that are driving innovation in the field of PI and to learn about current technologies being developed for future use."

*The RAPID Intern Program is an exciting opportunity for students working with RAPID members. It is a virtual PI leadership program which overlays on the work students are already doing at RAPID member organizations and provides students with PI leadership training and professional development skill-building opportunities like networking, career discovery, and public speaking/presenting. Click here for more information and to nominate a student.