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K-State Today

September 27, 2016



Increasing efficiency, reducing waste: Student plays key role as Bayer intern

By Tiffany Roney

Sam Oxandale

An engineering student at Kansas State University gained industry experience this summer as an intern for a life science company with more than 150 years in health care and agriculture.

Sam Oxandale, junior in mechanical engineering, Kearney, Missouri, was an integral part of a new project for Bayer's environmental and utility services technical plant in Kansas City, Missouri.

"Through the internship, I learned how to prolong the life of a new tank while quickly becoming a key part of a team," Oxandale said. "The experience helped me hone my engineering skills and discern which future opportunities to pursue."

Oxandale assisted with two plant start-ups in Bayer's environmental services division. He also conducted documentation, line flushing and labeling, and commissioning of equipment.

John Flanigan, manager of the environmental and utility services technical plant, said one of Oxandale's most important contributions to the company was his participation in a much-needed project. The project used nitrogen to prevent rusting, corrosion, leakage and spills in the vapor space of the recently installed tank.

"Sam's contributions allowed this project to proceed at a time when we did not have other resources available to do the work," Flanigan said. "This was a learning experience for Sam, as well as the completion of an important task for Bayer."

Flanigan said Oxandale was selected for the internship because of the mechanical engineering experience he had already gained as an undergraduate student.

"We noticed his participation in school organizations and his ability to maintain a high GPA even while participating in collegiate athletics," Flanigan said. "Also, we were encouraged by his hands-on work experience and hobbies, which showed his interest not only the paperwork side of the position but also in the physical aspects of mechanical engineering."

As a member of the Kansas State University men's track team, Oxandale likened the internship to running a race.

"At Bayer, I was part of a team, but I also had my own role to play in pushing myself," Oxandale said. "Whether I'm running or interning, I want to focus on doing my personal best so the team or company is positioned to succeed."

Oxandale is the son of Brad and Sherry Oxandale.

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