A biotechnology student from India has recently completed a UWindsor research internship exploring the field of alternative energy sources, thanks to a program that gives international students summer research opportunities in Canada.
Subhashini Kishnan came from SRM University, and was among 15 students who took part in a Globalink Internship offered by Mitacs, a not-for-profit research organization that manages and funds research and training programs in partnership with industry, the government, and academia.
Under the supervision of civil and environmental engineering associate professor Jerald Lalman, Kishnan worked on a bio-energy project using hydrogen and methane – two harmless and user-friendly sources of energy.
According to Dr. Lalman, Kishnan’s work, in collaboration with her colleague scholars Tao Peng and James Park, is innovative and a published manuscript is expected.
As part of her research, Kishnan had an opportunity to use a number of laboratory instruments for the first time – including mastering an anaerobic chamber known as the glove box.
“Back in India I was not allowed to touch many of these instruments,” she says.
“But here I got to play with them and my favorite was always the glove box. Using it made me feel like I have achieved something great.”
Though Kishnan’s main interest has been fermentation technology - the application of biological and engineering principles to problems involving biological/biochemical systems - her UWindsor experience in bio-energy production has expanded her horizons. The Mitacs program also has a provision that lets participating students apply for graduate scholarships following an undergraduate program – an option that Kishnan says she is strongly considering.
Rajesh Seth, environmental engineering program coordinator for undergraduate studies, says that the Mitacs program provides opportunities for UWindsor students to share ideas and academic interests with students from around the world.
“It is an excellent program, and it is an opportunity for us to expose other students to such distinguished students,” says Seth.