In the first installment of Meet the Fall 2020 RAPID Interns spotlight series, we are highlighting two of the students who are participating in the fall 2020 proram. Scroll down to learn more about Marissa Westerbeke, a Junior at Northeastern University, and Tanya Srivastava, a 1st-year graduate student at Texas Tech University.

Marissa Westerbeke

Marissa Westerbeke, a 3rd-year undergraduate chemical engineering student attending Northeastern University, is currently working on a project entitled "Scale-Up and Optimization of Batch and Continuous Flow Chemistry" as an intern at Nalas Engineering. Marissa has been tasked with optimizing batch reactions at the 100mL scale by determining the appropriate reaction conditions and stoichiometry. The project was then intensified by creating a plan to run continuously. The flow reaction conditions are now in the process of optimization, by which we have been changing flow rate, thus residence time, and reaction temperature. 


What are your career aspirations?

"Right now, I just want to gain as many experiences with different industries and different technologies as possible. I would like to grow to understand as much chemistry as I can in order to find what I have a particular passion for but ultimately, being well-rounded with my knowledge and abilities is my current goal. As I obtain more experience in the chemical engineering field, I expect to be able to envision more specific career aspirations."

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

"The RAPID Intern Program has given me the opportunity to continue classes while working full time. The chemical engineering coursework completed through this program has complimented my undergraduate studies well, providing more in-depth information on topics that I gained familiarity with at school."

Tanya Srivastava

Tanya Srivastava, a 1st-year graduate chemical engineering student at Texas Tech University, is currently working on a project entitled "Organic Solvent Nanofiltration" in the Malmali Reaction and Separations Laboratory (Malmadi Lab). Tanya's project tasks largely involve casting and evaluating membranes and reviewing the literature to generate protocols to synthesize organic solvent nanofiltration membranes.

What are your career aspirations?

"I wish to work as a Chemical Engineer in companies or Research Institutes and help make processes more environmentally benign. Paying attention to our carbon footprint is the need of the hour and as someone majoring in Chemical Engineering, I feel I can contribute to a large extent. So, I aspire to utilize my skills in an organization that shares the same goal as me."

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

"With the RAPID Intern program, I got to know about Process Intensification and Modular Manufacturing and how my research aligns with it, something which I think is very good exposure. I realized its application and demand in industry. What was very interesting is that the program also focused on our personal development with skills like networking, communication, and resume building."

*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.