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Source: Nancy Larson, 785-532-4998, nlarson@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Mary Rankin, 785-532-6715, mrankin@k-state.edu

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009

K-STATE POLLUTION PREVENTION INTERNS COMPLETE FOURTH YEAR OF MONEY-SAVING, CLEANER ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMS FOR KANSANS

MANHATTAN -- Now in its fourth year, the Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute intern program hosted nine intern positions in summer 2009. The group collectively identified savings of more than 8.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 9.9 million gallons of water, 480 tons of solid waste and $700,000 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 23 K-State students and more than 42 institutions over four years, would collectively realize savings of up to $5.7 million.

Savings come about through reductions of hazardous waste, kilowatt-hours and water use; prevention of soil loss; and diversion of solid waste, said Nancy Larson, director of the K-State Pollution Prevention Institute. 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 Pollution Prevention 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."

Students enrolled in an accredited engineering or science program at a college or university in Kansas and who have at least a junior standing by the start of summer 2010 are eligible for an intern position. The 2010 program year also will include two positions that work directly with the health care industry.

The 2009 program matched the following K-State students with Kansas industries:

Emily Coon, mechanical engineering, Lawrence, at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, Burlington; Andrea Granger, agricultural economics, Manhattan, at Frito-Lay, Topeka; Ryan Marshall, industrial engineering, Overland Park, at Robbie Fantastic Flexibles, Lenexa; Samantha Marin, industrial engineering, St. Francis, at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Lincoln, Neb.; and Connor Whitney, chemical engineering, Wichita, at K-State in Manhattan.

From out of state: Jay Reimer, biological and agricultural engineering, Beatrice, Neb., at Via Christi Regional Medical Center, Wichita.

The remaining interns in the 2009 program were from the University of Kansas.

Student and business applications for the 2010 internship program are due Jan. 31, 2010. Additional information and an online application are available at http://www.sbeap.org/internships.php