I’ve been working at IBRL for around a year and a half now, and it’s been a great experience that has helped me greatly academically and professionally. I first found out about IBRL through joining the student organization Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI), just as IBI was moving into the IBRL facility. I worked as a member for a year, and the IBRL staff we worked with suggested that I should apply for the student internship, which I was fortunate enough to get. I ended up taking the Vice President, and the President position in IBI while working at IBRL, and currently am leading the group as we undertake a large expansion project.
I was interested in IBRL because I wanted to gain more hands-on experience in the bioprocessing field, and industry in general. Working with industry clients and professors on real projects has given me some unique and interesting knowledge and opportunities. The pilot plant setting is one where new projects and ideas come through the door often, and there’s always a chance to learn something more about whatever project
While at IBRL, I’ve had a chance to learn much more about the technical parts of production lines and process development, which I hope to apply in the agriculture processing industry. Additionally, I’ve been able to apply the technical skills learned in my degree, like welding and metal fabrication, to solve real-world problems. Learning about a process or how to perform a technique in class then being able to use it the very next week is incredible.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed all of my time at IBRL, and I look forward to returning next year.