Juan Avila

Rising Junior
Chemical Engineering
Clemson University
CEINT Research Site: Dr. Mark Wiesner’s Lab, Duke University

Before starting my internship at CEINT, I had no research experience or knowledge on nanotechnology. Through workshops, talks, and exposure to the topic I was able to gain a broad background on the research that CEINT carries out. After the first week of orientation, you truly begin to feel like you are contributing to research that is currently pushing the frontiers of environmental nanotechnology. I was matched with a great research mentor dedicated to educating me about the topic I was investigating. By the end of the program, I had gained a vast amount of knowledge on nanotechnology and made meaningful connections with the researchers in the program. The program also develops strong bonds among its interns and provides opportunities to meet the students in other REU’s. Spending the summer doing research with CEINT has also fueled my interest in research. I was able to learn relevant laboratory and data analysis techniques, common research practices, and how to correctly follow lab safety protocols. I have been able to apply all of these to the research I am doing in my home institution.

Career Impacts

After the summer, I returned to my home university and began searching for research in nanotechnology. I was able to find a project in the chemical engineering department that was very relatable to what I did over the summer. After explaining my work with CEINT over the summer, the primary investigator was ecstatic to assign me to his lab. I have used much of the knowledge about nanoparticles and my lab experience that I gained through the program to significantly contribute to my current research.