Pete and Rosalie Johnson Internship Program

Four college of engineering admin faculty.

2024 Johnson Internship Application

Applications DUE No Later than Tuesday April 30th, 2024 @ 11:59pm

Johnson Summer 2024 Internship INFORMATION SESSIONS Wednesday April 10th and 17th 6:30pm - 7:30pm KEC 1001

Johnson 2024 Information and Requirements

  1. Applicant MUST be a declared CBEE major entering 2nd year in Fall 2024
  2. Required 300 hrs research (Start June 21, 2024 (or after) and completed by September 15, 2024)
  3. Compensation: $4425 + additional $550 living allowance (this figure is based on 2023 and will change)
  4. Reporting Requirements:
    1. Weekly Journal (including research hours)
    2. Poster Presentation at the Johnson Internship Symposium and one of the OSU Undergraduate Research Poster Fairs (Fall 2024 or Spring 2025), A1ChE Annual Student Conference or a Conference suggested by your research mentor.

Application Information

  1. NAME and OSU Student ID
  2. MAJOR (ChE, BioE, or EnvE) (NOTE: Applicant MUST be a DECLARED CBEE major at the time of application)
  3. OSU GPA (OSU courses ONLY - minimum 3.0 GPA required)
  4. Faculty Mentor and Project Selection (attached list)
    Review the list of Open Projects and rank your choices by Faculty Name and Project #.
    You may rank one or all six (your choice). If you rank a project you MUST be willing to do it if you are assigned to the project. Final selections will be made by the Faculty Mentors.
  5. Please attach an essay (1-page max) on what excites you about the field of chemical engineering, bioengineering, or environmental engineering and how do you see the Johnson Internship helping you to achieve your career goals?
  6. Please attach a detailed resume, including as much high school and OSU information and work experience as you think is important to give the committee a good picture of your strengths and experiences
  7. Please also attach a one slide Personal Powerpoint (converted to PDF) that is primarily pictures (with some annotation) that introduces you and contains information about your family, pets, hobbies, high school activities, etc. (see webpage for examples)

REMINDER: This application MUST be submitted as a single document (PDF or Word) with the file name format: JohnsonInternship2024_LastFirst

Submit applications to

Johnson Summer Intern Program - Summer 2024 Open Positions

Faculty Mentor: Yuanzhe Liang, PhD

Project #1: Calling 1st Year Undergraduates Interested in Sustainability!
Description: Are you passionate about making a difference in the world? Do you want to be part of cutting edge research aimed at advancing sustainability in water, energy, and materials? Look no further!
We are thrilled to invite 1st-year undergraduate students to join our dynamic research team. In our lab, you will have the opportunity to delve into the exciting realms of techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment. Our project is centered on exploring innovative solutions to enhance sustainability across crucial sectors: water, energy, and materials. You will be at the forefront of evaluating the environmental impacts and economic feasibility of these solutions. From renewable energy sources to efficient water management techniques, this project tackles the pressing challenges of our time. No prior experience is necessary—just a curiosity for sustainability and a willingness to learn. If you're ready to explore the intersection of technology, economics, and sustainability, we want you on our team!
Number of positions: 1

Project #2: Dive into Electrified Membrane Science for Clean Water!
Description: Are you intrigued by the power of electrochemistry and the potential of membrane science? Do you have a passion for unraveling the mysteries of transport phenomena? Look no further—our research lab is the perfect place for you! We are thrilled to announce an exceptional research opportunity for 1st-year undergraduate students interested in delving into the realms of electrochemistry and membrane science. Our project is two-fold, offering a unique blend of applied research in water purification and contamination removal, as well as fundamental research into transport phenomena. No prior research experience is required—just a curiosity for science and a passion for discovery. If you're ready to explore the frontiers of electrochemistry and membrane science, we invite you to join our team!
Number of positions: 2

Faculty Mentor: Christine Kelly, PhD

Project: Wastewater surveillance
Description: Interns with work with a team of other undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty on several projects in the area of detecting pathogens in wastewater in cities throughout Oregon. While most of our cities send us samples, we may have some travel to pick up samples, so a valid driver’s license is a plus! Interns will learn lab techniques, project management, communications with stakeholders, and logistics. We work closely with the Oregon Health Authority to provide information to benefit public health regarding infections in various communities. We detect COVID-19, RSV, influenza, and are working toward other pathogens.
Number of positions: 2

Faculty Mentor: Joe Baio, PhD

Project: The influence of tampon nanoplastic particles on gynecological mucosal barriers.
Co-mentor: Jade White
Number of positions: 1

Faculty Mentor: Lucas Ellis, PhD

Project #1: Understanding How to Synthesize Catalyst Active Sites for Next-Generation Plastic Recycling & Upcycling
Description: One exciting reaction chemistry that is gaining interest from catalyst researchers in the fields of waste plastic upcycling and renewable alkene production is olefin metathesis. The fundamental challenge with this reaction chemistry is a poor understanding of how to create these novel catalyst sites using traditional metal oxide catalysts. Join this project to learn how to synthesize these novel heterogeneous catalysts, test them with chemical reactors connected to an MS and GC, and study them using infrared spectroscopy.
Co-mentor: Dimitri Gatzios
Number of positions: 1, CHE preferred

Project #2: 3D Printing Heterogeneous Catalysts!
Description: The structure of an engineered prototype impacts how it works. This concept is easy to grasp for many of the products we interact with; race cars go faster than monster trucks, submarines are better to go underwater than boats. But, trying to communicate this relationship for heterogeneous catalysts, specifically the structure-property relationship of catalysts, is very difficult! Join a team to develop 3D-printable catalyst nanostructures you can hold in your hand and an engaging toy where you can build catalyst structures to teach about this fundamental concept in catalysis. 3D printing experience is helpful, but not required.
Faculty co-mentor: Skip Rochefort, PhD
Number of positions: 2

Faculty Mentor: Lewis Semprini, PhD

Project: Hydrogel Beads for the Bioremediation of Emerging Contaminants in Groundwater and Drinking Water
Description: This project will involve working with bacteria that are encapsulated in hydrogel beads. The student(s) will work with a team of researchers that are evaluating the performance of the hydrogel beads that they are fabricating in the laboratory in batch reactor studies. The ability of the hydrogel beads to transformation a range of emerging contaminants in drinking water and groundwater will be determined.
Number of positions: 1

Faculty Mentor: Nicholas AuYeung

Project: Thermal Energy Storage to Increase Renewable Utilization
Description: Explore reversible reactions that store thermal energy for power generation, hot water heating, or chemical processing. Thermal energy can be derived from solar concentrators, waste heat, or even excess electricity during times of low consumer demand. Design/build reactors, carry out experiments, and perform cost analysis to explore commercial viability.
Co-mentor: Juvenal Ortiz-Ulloa
Number of positions: 2

Faculty Mentor: Cory Simon

Project: A self-driving lab: autonomous search for the water displacement required to optimize the drain time
Description: This interdisciplinary project is to develop a prototype self-driving laboratory with an Arduino microcontroller. A self-driving lab is a chemical process equipped with actuators to manipulate the inputs to the process, in-line sensors to measure the output of the process, and machine learning algorithms for automated decisions about which inputs to try next. The self-driving lab will orchestrate its own sequence of experiments to find the optimal inputs to the process. Self-driving labs are poised to accelerate the pace of the discovery of new molecules and materials and the optimization of chemical reactors. Specifically, in this prototype self-driving lab, we will set up the hardware (liquid holding tank, pumps, balloon, liquid level sensor) and program the Arduino to autonomously find the size of a balloon displacing water in the tank to optimize the emptying time of a liquid holding tank with a hole in its side.
Number of positions: 2, CHE preferred

Faculty Mentor: Skip Rochefort

Project #1: Plastic Wastes (Ocean and Land) to Fuel (2 students - CBEE)
Description: This project looks to recycle waste plastics to a diesel product using a pyrolysis reactor. The goal of the project is to develop a simple, low-cost reactor to deploy in underserved communities with plastic wastes issues. Testing of the product using a gas chromatograph and analysis of combustion products from a small-scale diesel engine are planned for 2024. Construction of a 5-10kg reactor to b deployed in Malheur County is also planned for Summer 2024. The students will work as part of a TEAM of undergraduate researchers that have been involved in the project for over three years. We have collaborations with communities in Kodiak, AK and Santa Cruz, CA. There is the possibility of a trip to Alaska to collect ocean plastic waste from remote beaches. In addition, we are working with several industrial and community partners consulting on various aspects of pyrolysis technology.
The goal of this project is to add post-consumer Recycled (PCR)
Co-mentor: Abbie Marshall

Project #2: Hydrogels for Encapsulation of Bacteria for Bioremediation of Toxic Chemicals
Description: This is a 5-year $1.5 million project to develop hydrogel beads that contain bacteria and a food source (called co-metabolism). The students will work as part of a TEAM of UG researchers led by a PhD student with faculty mentors in Chemical (Dr. Rochefort), Environmental (Dr. Semprini) and Biological (Dr. Fogg) engineering. The goal of the project is to study materials and methods to produce gel beads containing bacteria that can be injected into contaminated aquifers to break down toxic chemicals.

Project #3: Hemp/Plastic Composites (1 student CBEE)
Description: This project involves a collaboration with the Global Hemp Innovation Center and a recent ISDA-NIFA $10million grant, for the development of plastic/hemp composites for 3-D printing filament and injection molding grade material. This project involves 13 PNW Native American Tribes. We also work with a local company, Atacama Inc., for the compounding and injection molding of material. The goal is to increase the wt% of hemp fiber in the plastic, evaluate the material properties, and potentially replace glass fiber and carbon fiber as a more sustainable composite material.

Project #4: A Wildfire Resistant Roof and Personal Shelter (1-2 students CBEE)
Description: This project uses a technology we have developed to implement it in a wildfire resistant roof on one part, and in another application, to modify the personal protection shelters used by wildland firefighters to improve their safety. We have worked several years on this project, and it has been dormant for about one year. We want to revitalize it because it is such an important project that could help save lives every wildfire season. There are more experiments required to prove concept and more design changes to be made before going to market.

Note: All students working in the Rochefort Polymer Lab also become involved with the K-12 STEM Outreach activities throughout the academic year and summer during the Johnson Internship. There are currently 18 UG students working in our lab on various teams, so no one is ever alone. We all work in teams.

Faculty Mentor: Adam Higgins, PhD

Project: Organ Cryopreservation
Description: Organ cryopreservation would revolutionize organ transplantation by overcoming the shelf-life limitations of conventional storage methods. However, it is not currently possible to cryopreserve human organs without excessive cell damage. The goal of the project is to identify mixtures of chemicals that can prevent ice damage during cryopreservation without killing the cells due to toxicity.
Co-mentors: Cameron Sugden/Nima Ahmadkhani
Number of positions: 2, BIOE preferred

Faculty Mentor: Tala Navab-Daneshmand, PhD

Project: A chemical forensics approach to assessing soil ecosystems health following biosolids soil amendments
Description: This study aims to determine the fate and transport of chemical compounds from biosolids in land- applied soils. We will develop a chemical fingerprint for biosolids and quantify the changes in the holistic chemical composition of soils after biosolids application. Finally, we will determine the treatment capacity of sustainable mitigation strategies (application of wood chips and biochar) in biosolids-amended soils.
Collaborator: Lew Semprini, PhD
Mentor: Marie Oland (2nd year PhD ENVE)
Major preference: ENVE

Faculty Mentor: Tyler S. Radniecki, PhD

Project: Turning organic waste into renewable energy
Description: This project will explore how to optimize the processes of turning numerous organic waste streams (e.g. cooking oil, food waste, dairy waste from creameries and grain waste from craft breweries) into renewable methane gas. This conversion process takes place in a biological reactor called an anaerobic digester where microbes break down organic wastes to produce energy rich, methane-containing biogas. The student(s) working on this project will have the opportunity to run their own anaerobic digesters and determine how changes in organic waste stream composition and concentration affects the anaerobic digester’s performance and methane production. Additionally, student(s) will have the opportunity to learn new analytical analyses including gas chromatography (to measure what is in the biogas), liquid chromatography (to measure what is in the liquid phase) and spectrophotometry (to measure what is in the liquid phase).

Oregon Health & Science University

OHSU Mentor: Dr. Joe Aslan

OHSU Mentor: Prof. Owen McCarty

Description: The Aslan and McCarty labs study molecular mechanisms of platelet function in health and disease. We are seeking to host a 2023 Johnson Summer Intern at OHSU with interests in biochemistry, cell biology and systems biology for microscopy studies of platelet adhesion and effects of novel therapies on platelet activation. Previous Johnson Scholars from our OHSU groups have contributed to and led publications below and have gone on to medical and graduate research programs.

OHSU Mentor: Prof. Sandra Rugonyi

Description: The Rugonyi lab studies interactions between cardiac mechanics and function, especially in congenital heart disease. Our studies span embryonic cardiac development to adult heart disease. We are looking for interns with interests in embryology and/or heart disease, who would like to integrate experimental biology and engineering techniques, including computational modeling and programming.