MIDLAND — When Impact Analytical took on a summer intern working toward her doctorate, the testing lab had no idea how well the whole thing would work out for all involved.
The intern, Barbara Pavan, is one of the first students taking part in Central Michigan University’s new Science of Advanced Materials program in the College of Science and Technology. As part of her curriculum, she spent a few months interning at Impact.
“The purpose of the internship was to give Barbara some hands-on experience in industry,” said Eric Hill, Impact’s business marketing and sales manager. “Barbara worked directly on more than 40 customer projects, and she did an outstanding job. She worked in the Molecular Spectroscopy laboratory, performing FT-IR and NMR analysis.”
While Pavan gained valuable experience in the testing lab, Impact gained another expert chemist in its increasingly busy labs for several months.
“It truly was a win-win for both sides,” Hill said. “She got a chance to apply her skill set in an industrial laboratory setting, and we were able to utilize a valuable resource to meet the rising demand at Impact Analytical. She applied her chemistry knowledge to solve customers’ needs. She will be presenting a poster at the Fall Scientific Meeting of the American Chemical Society, outlining some non-customer work she did here at Impact.”
CMU’s SAM doctoral program provides an interdisciplinary environment to train effective researchers for both academic and industrial careers. Throughout their academic and research experiences, students gain hands-on experience exploring the chemical, physical and mathematical properties of advanced materials. CMU faculty maintains active research labs and is involved in collaborative relationships with other institutions and with industry, providing valuable contacts with experts in a variety of materials areas.
For her part, Pavan said her time at Impact provided a chance to flex some different muscles in the lab, as well as inform where her career will go next.
“My internship at Impact Analytical was challenging and rewarding,” Pavan said. “One of the challenges I encountered was the large variety of materials we analyzed, but this also provided me with a great learning experience, which helped to expand my knowledge of materials and analytical techniques. This was my first experience in an industrial environment, and I definitely enjoyed the dynamism of the job and how supportive all my colleagues were. I feel I learned a lot, both scientifically and professionally, and the whole experience helped clarify what I would like to do after graduation.”
“For Impact, the internship was a resounding success,” Hill said. “We have communicated the positive feedback to CMU and asked to be considered for internship opportunities next summer.”
Impact Analytical is a contract testing laboratory established within Michigan Molecular Institute. MMI is located in Midland, with the mission to promote the advancement of applied scientific research in the areas of chemical and polymer science. Impact Analytical works with more than 300 companies around the world and is dedicated to providing top-notch analytical service that supports the success of its customers.
Working in a variety of industries — pharmaceutical, plastics, consumer products, medical devices, packaging, automotive and specialty chemical — Impact Analytical combines unparalleled service with a full suite of capabilities. From quality control testing to identification of an unknown to support for research efforts, Impact Analytical is established in the industry as a partner that delivers reliable data and top-shelf service.