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Source: Gina Becker, 785-532-7044,
News release prepared by: Katie Cox, 785-532-7044

Friday, Aug. 6, 2010


MANHATTAN -- A new addition has arrived at Kansas State University's Advanced Manufacturing Institute all the way from France.

The institute's first international student intern, Sebastien Dan, recently began work as a chemical engineer for Gina Becker, senior engineer.

The opportunity for Dan arose after Jeff Tucker, associate director of the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, met one of Dan's professors who was visiting K-State. The professor told Dan about the institute and its services. Dan then contacted Becker about getting an internship.

Dan is in his fifth year at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Ingenieurs en Arts Chimiques et Technologiques in Toulouse, France. He studies process engineering, a field comparable to chemical engineering in the United States. He chose the field for the research and practical application development involved, which offer opportunities to discover and implement real solutions to world problems.

Sebastien's project is producing samples of algae oil for the Advanced Manufacturing Institute and the Kansas Polymer Research Center at Pittsburg State University.

"The Kansas Polymer Research Center will then attempt to develop polymers from the oil," Becker said. "Algae oil development is very popular now around the world, but the Kansas Polymer Research Center has had a difficult time obtaining samples for research. We hope to help them with this."

Becker said Dan has been using the institute's photobioreactor to grow algae. He also has been reading articles about algae growing, harvesting and oil extraction through the K-State Libraries.

"I want to learn all that I can from this internship and hope to use the experience in my career," Dan said. "I really like Kansas and appreciate the hospitality people have shown me."

After graduating in 2011, Dan wants to move to Japan and work in energy engineering.

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute is a part of the K-State College of Engineering. It is a Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation Center of Excellence that helps clients develop products and processes and supports technology development in Kansas. More information on the institute is available online at