Friday, Nov. 5, 2010
K-STATE INTERNS CONTRIBUTE TO CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY
MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute Intern Program concluded its fifth year by collectively identifying savings of more than 3.6 million kWh of electricity, 18 million gallons of water, 257 tons of solid waste, 500,000 therms of natural gas, and $740,000 in operating and disposal costs for Kansas business and industry.
The intern program links top-level engineering and environmental sciences students with host companies to research projects that reduce industrial emissions and wastes and conserve natural resources. If implemented, total recommendations of the program, involving 29 K-State students and more than 22 institutions over five years, would realize savings of up to $6.5 million, according to Nancy Larson, director of the Pollution Prevention Institute.
Savings come about through reductions of hazardous waste, kilowatt hours and water use, and diversion of solid waste, Larson said. Charged with developing effective waste-reducing solutions, the interns' work helps the companies reduce operating costs, regulatory compliance burdens and their environmental footprint.
"The interns gain 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 students work with a technical adviser from the institute and personnel from their host company to identify appropriate projects. Most positions pay $15 an hour.
"Hands-on experience and knowledge gained of environmental principles are key advantages for the interns," Larson said. "Participation in these internships throughout the U.S. has resulted in many employment offers from host companies."
The 2010 program matched the following K-State students with Kansas industries:
Chase Davisson, junior in electrical engineering, Altamont, with Johnson County Community College, Overland Park; Matt Schaffer, senior in architectural engineering, Manhattan, with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Mayetta; EmaLee Hitt, senior in mechanical engineering, Pratt, with various health care facilities; Justine Wallis, senior in marketing, Shawnee, with various health care and pharmaceutical facilities; and Ruth Alford, senior in industrial engineering, Topeka, with Schwan's Global Supply, Salina.
From out of country: Vishrut Patel, senior in mechanical engineering, India, with Deffenbaugh Industries, Kansas City.
Student and business applications for the 2011 program are due Jan. 31, 2011; the applications and more information are available at http://www.sbeap.org/internships.php.