Thanks to Lindsay Cannistra's ’17 expertise in science, a major corporation and its customers can save time, money, and a valuable element called indium.

The chemical engineering major was a summer intern after her sophomore year at the Indium Corporation when she tackled —and solved — a problem that had stumped the company’s researchers: she found a way to extract indium metal from what previously was a waste product.

This is exciting because indium, which is used to manufacture popular products such as flat-panel displays, is an excellent material for reuse.

Cannistra wrote a 30-page report outlining the process she developed to extract indium metal from plastic and the company is continuing with her research.

Lindsay's enthusiasm for chemical engineering and her ability at this age is not something we come across very often.

Todd Ellenor, Indium Corporation

“She did a very good job,” said Todd Ellenor, who directs research and development at Indium Corporation. “Her results are very encouraging . Our customers are happy to get value for their waste product, and we're happy to be able to reclaim indium, which is used to make a wide variety of products.”

“Lindsay's enthusiasm for chemical engineering and her ability at this age is not something we come across very often,” he added.

While it's unusual for a college intern to make a discovery as beneficial as Cannistra's, it doesn't surprise her teacher, Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Selma Mededovic, a bit.

“I had her in two classes, first as a sophomore in chemical engineering. I knew then she'd do very well,” Mededovic says.

Following graduation in May, Cannistra started as an Applications Engineer at Saint-Gobain.