Hey everyone! We are about a month into summer, but I am still reflecting on the last semester at USC, since I actually won’t be back until next spring. That second semester of my sophomore year was key for me in finding the right balance between my work at VARC, my research and my work as a VSA and with Trojan Alliance. It’s going to be so weird taking a break from the activities for a semester, but I think it will be worth it. So why am I taking off a whole semester?
If you had followed some of my previous blogs, you may have read that I applied to some international internships for the summer. The majority of these programs are for the summer period, around 3 months. However, I was actually accepted to a special 6 month traineeship at Evonik Industries in Darmstadt, Germany. Evonik Industries is a huge aggregate working in specialty chemicals. I am working on my own modeling of a fixed bed reactor for a heterogeneous catalytic reactor in the gas phase and homogenous reaction at high pressure. Essentially, I will be using knowledge from every single one of my ChemE classes I have taken. I will be using energy and material balances from CHE 120 (Intro to CHE) and CHE 330 (Thermodynamics). I will be using MATLAB to code, like I learned in CHE 205 (MATLAB Programming for CHE). I’ll be using aspects of Seperations (CHE 350) for the different feeds into the reactor. I will be referencing organic chemistry (CHEM 322) since it is an organic chemistry reaction, as well as analytical chemistry (CHEM 300) to analyze flow concentrations. I will even be using aspects of CHE 442 (Reactors), which I haven’t even taken yet! My boss actually has the same reactors book that we use at USC for reference, so I will get a head start on this class.
So, I am essentially doing an international co-op. It’s really exciting, but it will certainly be an adventure. I am currently working on my visa and work permit applications, but it should be smooth sailing from there. Darmstadt is actually a college town, since there is a TU Darmstadt (Technical University system, it’s kinda like the UC system specifically for engineering in Germany). I will be living in the student dorms close to my work, but I do not know who I am living with. I know that there are two other girls working at Evonik (in different departments) from Canada and New York. And since I have about 24 weekends in Europe, I am going to try to visit as many countries as possible in the six months! It should be an adventure.
Well, I’m taking my plane out on Monday, and I won’t be back in the country until December! This is the longest I’ve been out of the country, but I’m still so excited and maybe just a tiny bit nervous. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures!