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.
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.