In the final installment of the Meet the Spring 2021 RAPID Interns spotlight series, we are highlighting three additional interns in the Spring 2021 program. Scroll down to learn more about Pradeep Vyawahare, a graduate student at Texas Tech University; Kayla Ruslavage, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh; and Xiaolei Hao, a 2nd-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arkansas.

Pradeep Vyawahare

Pradeep Vyawahare, a recently defended Ph.D. at Texas Tech University, has worked on a project entitled "Modeling Adsorption Isotherms for Pure Components and Gas Mixtures" in the Chen Group. Pradeep worked to develop a state-of-the-art generalized Langmuir (gL) isotherm for mixed gas adsorption. This would demonstrate that the gL model is an advancement over the current benchmark models for mixed-gas adsorption such as Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory (IAST) and Extended Langmuir. 

What are your career aspirations?

"My career aspirations are to best utilize my research skills in CFD and Adsorption Modeling to assist in the advancement of process intensification."

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

"RAPID Intern Program is an exceptionally well-designed program that brings together students from diverse backgrounds and stages of their career. The participants are provided with the opportunity to cultivate extraordinary interpersonal and technical skills in a mutual learning environment with weekly discussions and meticulously devised educational materials. With the focus on Process Intensification (PI), a thorough knowledge of industrial processes is provided with the possible improvements in the processes by introducing PI techniques. Furthermore, RAPID Intern Program assists interns in developing extraordinary research skills by challenging them with novel research projects which come to fruition with interns’ deep understanding of their research and a vision of its use in PI."

Kayla Ruslavage

Kayla Ruslavage, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, is working on a project titled "Circular Recycling of TPU" in the Veser lab. Kayla's primary project task involves utilizing the group contribution method to estimate heats of reaction and approximate deblocking temperatures of various blocking agents. 

What are your career aspirations?

I’ve really enjoyed the experiences I’ve had in research and development throughout my college experience, so I’d like to continue working in the process development space in industry. I’m currently considering furthering my education to gain more expertise before going into an industry process development role.

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

The RAPID program has allowed me to dive deeper into exploring process intensification, which has been such a valuable concept to learn about and apply to the research I’m working on. It has also been a great way to network with other innovative engineers and learn about their fascinating projects.

Xiaolei Hao

Xiaolei Hao, a 2nd year Ph.D. student at the University of Arkansas, is working on a project entitled "Purification of protein biopharmaceuticals using membrane techniques - Processing Intensification in Bioseparation" in the Membrane Research laboratory. In this project, Xiaolei fabricated regenerated cellulose nanofiber membranes and grafted functional polymers on the surface of the nanofiber, which can have hydrophobic interaction with proteins in an on-off mode by adjusting the salt concentration in buffer, and thus they can be purified. 

What are your career aspirations?

"I like to do scientific research, and I feel it like an adventure to an unknown world. I enjoy the feeling of sharing with others what I learned and found in my research. It is an amazing and cool experience."

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

"I had no idea about PI before joining the program, but now I have learned more about it by taking many valuable online courses and webinars. I believe PI is a very amazing concept, and it can apply in nearly all engineering fields. Besides, the program offers me a chance to know many wonderful researchers and their research topics, and I also practiced my presentation skills and oral English. It is indeed a great program!"

*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.