CEINT Research Site: Lab of Dr Melanie Auffan, the CEREGE, Aix-en-Province, France
My REU with CEINT was a truly unforgettable experience. I spent two months in Aix en Provence, at CEREGE, working on a project that was part of a collaboration of research groups from 12 different European countries. Surrounded by brilliant researchers with expertise in various different science and engineering fields, I had the opportunity to discover the importance of working across disciplines and geographical borders to solve environmental problems. Adding even more to this experience was the incredible sense of community and teamwork at CEREGE. We all worked in the same labs, ate lunch together and explored the Provence on weekends, paddling down lakes, hiking up canyons, and lying in lavender fields. Working in such an inspiring atmosphere, allowed me to grow as a researcher and form lasting friendships with people from all over the world. Living in the Provence also gave me the chance to fully immerse in French culture, and boost my French speaking skills.
I came to CEINT as a chemistry major interested in the environment and nanotechnology. I left convinced that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in environmental engineering, studying how the surface chemistry of nanomaterials affects their interactions with the environment. The CEINT REU program has helped me discover one of my main research interests, and I hope to pursue it by continuing work with CEINT in graduate school.