For release: June 16, 2008

Steve Karsjen, Public Affairs and Education, 515-294-5643


Interns to complete 10-week internship

AMES, Iowa – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory is being called home for 10 weeks for 12 undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the country.  The students are participating in the Lab’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship, or SULI, program, which began on May 27 and runs through Aug. 1, 2008.

The SULI program is sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.  Through SULI, students are matched with science mentors at the Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.  During the internship, the students work on cutting-edge research projects with their mentors with the goal of producing journal articles for publication.  Past articles have appeared in publications such as The Journal of Chemical Physics, Organometallics, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Inorganic Chemistry, ACS NANO, Nature Physics, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, and the DOE Journal of Undergraduate Research.

This year’s students include two freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors, three seniors and one graduating senior.  The students are Caleb Carlin, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Mich.; Torrey Dupras, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mich.; Elizabeth Geison, Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.; Jared Gerschler, Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass.; Justin Mallek, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis.; Steven Nason, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.; Neil Paulson, Olin College, Needham, Mass.; Kevin Yang, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; Brita Kilburg, Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa; Joseph Edgington, Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa; and Karen Haman, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.   

This year’s scientist mentors include Mark Gordon, director, Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences program, Ames Laboratory, and Distinguished Professor, chemistry, Iowa State University; Troy Benjegerdes, assistant scientist, Scalable Computing Laboratory, Ames Laboratory; Edward Yu, associate scientist, Condensed Matter Physics program, Ames Laboratory, and assistant professor, physics and astronomy, and biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; ISU; Aaron Sadow, associate scientist, Chemical and Biological Sciences program, Ames Laboratory, and assistant professor, chemistry; ISU; George Kraus, professor, chemistry, and director, Institute for Physical Research and Technology, ISU; Mark Bryden, director, Simulation, Modeling and Decision Science program, Ames Laboratory, and associate professor, mechanical engineering, ISU; Vitalij Pecharsky, senior metallurgist, Ames Laboratory, and Distinguished Professor, materials science and engineering, ISU; Vasant Honavar, professor, computer science, ISU; Zhihong Song, postdoctoral researcher, molecular
biology, ISU; Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, associate scientist, Materials Chemistry and Bimolecular Materials program, Ames Laboratory, and professor, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, ISU; Michael Kessler, assistant professor, materials science and engineering, ISU; and Forrest Nutter, professor, plant pathology, ISU.

This is the fourth year for the SULI program at Ames Laboratory.  This year’s group of 12 students brings to 43 the number of students who have participated in SULI since 2005.

“This program is serving a critical need, said Steve Karsjen, SULI program coordinator, which is to provide opportunities for undergraduates to work in real-world research settings to get the practical experience they need to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University. The Lab conducts research into various areas of national concern, including the synthesis and study of new materials, energy resources, high-speed computer design, and environmental cleanup and restoration .