OCAST Intern Partnerships program adds five to growing list of student-private sector cooperation
Friday, December 3, 2010
Five R&D Intern Partnerships were funded this week for $236,070 by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).
Professors from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa and representatives of two private sector Oklahoma firms will oversee student interns in the awarded projects. The R&D Intern Partnerships will operate two years in collaboration with universities and private-sector companies in Alva, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Awards support undergraduate student internships in energy, chemistry, environmental, computer software and biotechnology.
Since 1998 the OCAST R&D Intern Partnerships program has helped Oklahoma small businesses locate hard-to-find technology trained employees. OCAST pays half of the cost for an undergraduate intern to work in a research and development setting.
More than 600 undergraduate students have interned at approximately 90 Oklahoma industries since the program’s inception.
OCAST’s program is designed to assist technology-based job creation. It combines university faculty oversight with financial support and company mentoring from the private sector. Many of the college students who participate in the program eventually become employees of the small businesses that sponsor them.
The most recent program awards follow:
Alva – Jason Wickham, Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Arysta LifeScience Technology will work in collaboration on a project titled “Distribution and Quantity of Iodine and Other Constituents in the Brine Waters of Northwestern Oklahoma.” Historically, oil and natural gas producers discard brine as an unwanted waste product associated with subterranean reservoirs. Brine, however, contains iodine which has commercial value. Student interns will identify brine sources throughout northwestern Oklahoma, obtain samples and analyze them for future use. Award: $10,000 for one year
Tulsa – Surendra Singh, the University of Tulsa and MIRATECH Corporation will oversee two undergraduate interns to develop a selective catalytic reduction control system, a diesel oxidation catalyst and optimization of a three-way catalyst. The research targets engine emissions and the benefit-cost analysis of design upgrades. The project title is “Design and Development of Emission Systems.” Award: $60,000 for two years
Tulsa – Jerald Dawkins and True Digital Security will sponsor interns on a project titled “Information Technology Governance Compliance and Risk Management.” The students will gain experience in designing and developing a complex information security auditing application that will leverage and bolster their design, engineering and teamwork skills. While working alongside engineers, the interns will design testing documents, develop scripts to support automated testing and validation, do quantitative analysis and interview clients. Award: $59,140 for two years
Oklahoma City – Kris Vermelis and DormaTarg Inc. of Oklahoma City will work with interns on a project titled “Translational Research and Drug Development for Advanced Metastatic Cancers.” The project is expected to lead to new drugs for cancer treatment. The targets are cancer cells and the extracellular matrix that suppresses malignant behavior. Intern involvement will include research into mechanisms by which suppression of malignant behavior occurs, evaluation of drug efficacy, toxicity and pharmacodynamics in novel cell culture and animal models to provide data in support of an investigational drug application to the Food and Drug Administration. Interns will establish cell culture models and test drugs. Award: $47,000 for two years
Tulsa – Surendra Singh, the University of Tulsa and Holly Corporation will oversee intern work on a project titled “Design and Development of Oil Refinery Components.” Two undergraduate students from TU will work at Holly Refining and Marketing in all phases of engineering design, specifications, development, testing and deployment of Holly’s process heaters, above ground storage tanks and relief valves. They will use 3-D AutoCad and other software unique to the refining industry while being introduced to the business, safety and ethics protocols of the engineering field. Award: $60,000 for two years