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Source: Nancy Larson, 1-800-578-8898 or 785-532-4998,
News release prepared by: Mary Rankin, 785-532-6715,

Monday, April 27, 2009


MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute Intern Program has selected interns for summer 2009.

Now in its fourth year, the program links top-level engineering and environmental sciences students with businesses and industries, mainly in Kansas, to research projects that reduce industrial emissions and wastes and conserve energy and natural resources.

Eight intern positions are funded through two grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, and one position is funded through the Kansas Health Foundation. Two of the intern positions work directly with the health care industry.

In the previous three years of the program, 17 students from K-State's College of Engineering were matched with 16 companies. Charged with developing effective waste-reducing solutions, the interns' work helped the companies reduce operating costs, regulatory compliance burdens and their environmental footprint.

If implemented, the interns' recommendations would see the host companies collectively realize savings of up to $4 million through reductions of hazardous waste, kilowatt-hours, and water use; prevention of soil loss; and diversion of solid waste. The interns have identified close to 8 million kilowatt-hours of energy savings and more than 75 million gallons in water reduction, according to Nancy Larson, director of the Pollution Prevention Institute.

"The interns gained hands-on experience in an industrial setting as well as an understanding of pollution prevention strategies for problem solving and environmental management," Larson said.

The student interns work with technical advisers from the Pollution Prevention Institute as well as personnel from their host company to identify appropriate projects.

"Most of these intern positions pay $16 and hour and provide an opportunity to gain education and experience in pollution prevention," Larson said. "Knowledge of this environmental principle will be advantageous to any future career. Participation in these internships throughout the U.S. has resulted in many employment offers from host companies."

Students serving as interns in the 2009 programs, all from K-State's College of Engineering and College of Agriculture, include:

Mark McClure, junior in chemical engineering from Assaria, with Schwan's Global Supply in Salina; Andrea Granger, senior in agricultural economics and modern languages from Manhattan, with Frito-Lay in Topeka; Emily Coon, junior in mechanical engineering from Lawrence, with the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation in Burlington; Ryan Marshall, senior in industrial engineering from Overland Park, with Robbie Manufacturing in Lenexa; Samantha Marin, senior in industrial engineering from St. Francis, with Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb.; and Connor Whitney, senior in chemical engineering from Wichita, with K-State in Manhattan.

From out of state: Jay Reimer, senior in biological and agricultural engineering from Beatrice, Neb., with Via Christi in Wichita.