ChBE Undergrads Heading to DuPont for SCI Internships

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Above: Juda Makover. Below: Mack Walls.

University of Maryland Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) undergraduates Judah Makover and Mackenzie (“Mack”) Walls have earned summer internships at DuPont through a program offered by the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), the America International Group (AIG), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Makover and Walls were selected from a nationwide field of “exceptional sophomores and juniors” majoring in chemistry and chemical engineering to receive two of the twenty positions offered by the SCI Scholars program. SCI Scholars receive $6000–$10,000 for a ten-week industrial internship and $1000 in discretionary funding.

Makover, a junior, will work for DuPont’s Bioprocessing and Fermentation unit, located in Wilmington, Del.

Makover has already gained some experience working with ChBE assistant professor Jeffrey Klauda, conducting computational investigations of the thermodynamic properties of lipid bilayers; and in a summer pathology program at the Baylor College of Medicine, Tx., where he studied tumor angiogenesis.

After graduating, he is interested in pursuing a career in either the pharmaceutical or biomedical field, but has not yet decided whether it will be academia and industry. “I feel that this summer will give me a nice picture of what industry is like and will help me make the best career choice for me,” he says.

Outside of class, Makover serves as the vice president to the CHBE Honors Club, which is the precursor to Omega Chi Epsilon, a national chemical engineering honor society. He is a member of the RISE honors engineering program and recently completed his honors citation for the University Honors program.

Walls, a sophomore, will spend the summer in the Molecular Sciences group at DuPont’s Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del.

“I have not had any previous research experiences, but look forward to working with DuPont…[and] the opportunities this program will allow me to have,” he says. “I also hope to get involved in [the University of Maryland’s] chemical engineering research labs in the upcoming semesters.”

Walls’ favorite subjects are organic chemistry and biochemistry, and he hopes to put his skills to work in the pharmaceutical industry after graduating.

Walls is a member of the ChBE Honors Club, the student chapter of the AIChE, the University of Maryland Honors College and the Gemstone Program. His Gemstone team is developing software that analyzes music files and extract prominent from songs based on music theory. The program is designed to supplement and boost the accuracy of music recommendation systems.

Makover and Walls follow in the footsteps of a growing number of Maryland ChBE students to win the prestigious internships. The pair will bring the number of the department’s SCI Scholars to twelve.

One of their predecessors, Yoon Shin, spent the summer of 2013 in Freemont, Ca. for an internship at Air Liquide. He describes living and working in the San Francisco Bay area as “an unforgettable experience.”

“[Working] at Air Liquide allow[ed] me to test the waters and get a feel for what it’s like to be a working engineer,” he says, adding he learned from the professionals he met that long hours and a willingness to relocate would probably be required to advance his career in industry–something that has prompted him to think about how he can balance his desire to explore the world with his interest in having a family-oriented life.

“[It’s] giving me a lot of insight into what I want to do after graduation,” he adds. “Everyone should try a similar experience at least once before graduating.”

Published April 11, 2014