A unique opportunity has been given to select students studying chemistry at Millersville. The University is the first school in the PASSHE system to receive a grant for $53,450 as a part of the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program. These chemistry students will be able to participate in a hands-on research project made possible by these funds.
The grant is a portion of the $2.5 million investment PennA Governor Tom Wolf recently announced to fund 36 student projects across the state. These projects will partner undergraduate and graduate students with local manufacturers across 17 different Pennsylvania colleges and their surrounding communities.
The University will collaborate with K & L Plating, a business located in Lancaster that will match the funds provided by the grant. The students will work with the company to optimize a new production process.
The students involved with the project will not only gain valuable experience using high-tech instruments relevant to their field. They will also receive wages to do the work, funds to register for research and they will receive the honor of being named PA-Manufacturing Initiative Fellows.
K & L Plating specializes in applying protective coatings to metal surfaces in a procedure that requires using acid baths for cleaning purposes. The effectiveness of these baths decreases over time, which can lead to inadequate quality of products and other issues.
The students will research and test how to reduce the number of times the acid needs to be replenished, incorporating the process of acid recycling. They also aim to help improve the quality of products as K & L Plating begins this new manufacturing process.
“The students will have a unique opportunity to apply their knowledge of chemistry to solve a real-world problem,” explains Dr. Jeremiah Mbindyo, professor of chemistry at Millersville University. “Reduction or elimination of waste in manufacturing is very important for green chemistry and improving environmental sustainability.”
This project seeks to lower the overall cost of the cleaning process and hopes to reduce the creation of hazardous waste as well.
“This will have a positive impact on the environment due to the reduced generation, storage and transport of hazardous acid waste,” Mbindyo continues.
Other grantees this year include Drexel University, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pennsylvania.
Interested in studying chemistry at Millersville University?
Click here for more information: https://www.millersville.edu/chemistry/