Category Archives: Job Oportunities

2019 Summer Internship applicants now accepted

Below is the flyer for the 2019 summer internship program.  Also included is a graphic depicting the kinds of projects available here at the OESL.

If you are interested in applying please provide:

1) Resume

2) Cover letter indicating area of research of greatest interest to you

3) Minimum of one reference

4) List of college level science courses you have completed

Please email applications to Laura Ives at

We are looking forward to seeing your applications!

Tom Guarr and Jolt Energy win Ocean Exchange Orcelle Award

Congratulations to Tom Guarr for being presented the 2018 Ocean Exchange Orcelle Award on October 9th in Savannah, Georgia!

The WW Orcelle® Award 2018 $100,000 USD is given to the solution that can make our logistic operations more sustainable by advancing high-efficiency or zero-emission technologies that are commercially viable.

The summer of 2018 = the summer of the female chemical engineer

There has been a lot of push lately to get women involved in the STEM fields, and if our lab is any indication, it seems to be working.  This summer we had three female chemical engineers join our lab as interns…. and that was our entire cohort of interns.  Brittney, Bridget and Nora were all great contributors.  Although the OESL is primarily involved in organic chemistry synthesis, we have found that many of the successful “synthesizers” are engineers.  We also bring them aboard for more traditional engineering roles like economic analysis and battery cell design and construction.

The summer of 2018 presented a challege for Tom Guarr, our principal researcher, as he had to split his time between the OESL and Argonne Labs.  But many people stepped in to help lead our lab to a great summer.  Many thanks to Nick Mortimer, Shane Mann, Jason Gillmore and Anthony Porath for stepping in and ensuring success.


Nick Mortimer

Nick is a long-time research guru and veteran of our lab.  He is young, but he is as seasoned and experienced as researchers get here at MSUBI.  Nick is a graduate of GVSU and has been a researcher here for four years.  During that time, he has contributed in countless ways to the progress of the research and the good vibes at our lab.  He has been a mentor to many, many undergraduate researchers and graduate students.  He has presented many posters and has his name on a rechargeable lithium ion cell patent application.  He has been such an integral part of the OESL for so long, we may forget how to operate without him.

Nick is getting married to the lovely Leah Campau and we wish them all the best for their future.  After the marriage they are going on an epic honeymoon in the far east and then settling in Colorado to plan their future together.  Colorado is lucky to get Nick.  Whatever he decides for his future, whether it be further employment in the Chemistry field, or expanding his already successful sunglasses/watch business, he will be assured to have a great future.

Thanks for the years of service Nick, and enjoy your promising future!

Research Position Available

A research position is available in the lab of Dr. Thomas Guarr at the Michigan State University Organic Energy Storage Laboratory in Holland, MI. An ideal candidate will have experience in the areas of organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and device design. This position will also assist with the lab’s summer internship program, working with undergraduate interns and their research projects.

Researchers have opportunities to publish papers, give poster presentations and travel to symposia and conferences. Several have made important contributions to inventions and are listed as co-inventors on international patent applications. Many employees and interns have chosen to continue their research at graduate schools that include MSU, University of Michigan, UNC, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Purdue among others. Past employees and interns have gone on to be a Fulbright Scholar or work at National Labs like Argonne National Laboratory and technology companies such as Bend Research in Bend, OR.

Our researchers are usually interested in furthering their education but desire getting more extensive research and experience for a year or two before continuing onward.

All prospective candidates are encouraged to apply by emailing their CV and the contact information of references to Laura Ives at The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To learn more about the OESL group, please visit our website at

Summer 2018 internship announcement

Spring is very slow to come here in Holland, MI.  The temps have been in the 30s and low 40s and we have had snow nine days out of the last eleven days.  Therefore, we are skipping spring and going directly to the summer announcements:

The following students have been confirmed Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute Organic Energy Storage Laboratory interns for the summer of 2018:

Brittney Duford – Chemical Engineering student at Michigan Technological University

Bridget O’Connell – Chemical Engineering student at Michigan Technological University

Nora Shaheen – Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering graduate from Ohio State University

Also joining us this summer:

Anthony Porath – Graduate of Alma College and former 2017 summer intern

We are very excited about this summer!  There is big news coming out of this lab.  Stay tuned for the next update!

Summer Internship postions available for 2018

*** Please note:  All intern positions have been filled for summer 2018 ***

Look for a posting at your University or College job site.  If it is not posted there, please feel free to apply by providing:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter indicating area of research of greatest interest to you
  • Minimum of one reference
  • List of college level science courses you have completed

Email to Laura Ives at

2017 Summer Program Success

Each summer we ask for anonymous feedback from our researchers.  Below are a few comments we received:

  • I loved the work environment here at MSUBI.  All the employees here were great and very helpful.  My favorite part was meeting new people and making some life long friendships.
  • The project was geared towards my general understanding experience and future use of skills.  It was definitely assigned in the direction of my interests.
  • Communication was on-going, so if changes needed to be made or difficulties with the project were present then adjustments were made.
  • The experience provided a valuable practice for graduate school lab practices.  Work was independent but help from those with more experience could be sought out.
  • I enjoyed my colleagues the most out of the internship.  They are all very intelligent and great for advice and seeking information.  The tours were also super interesting because I had never seen this type of chemistry application before.  I loved it.
  • Science takes time.  Reactions will run and fail, staying optimistic is the real skill to develop with the research because it does not go perfectly according to plan.
  • This was a great 10 week program.  I loved working here and will be very sad to leave.  Working here has been the best experience I have ever had.
  • I will be letting my department know about the program.

Suggestions for improvement?

  • Maybe go kayaking or mini golfing.

Great suggestion.  I like the way you think.

Thanks to all of our summer researchers.  Some great advances were made this summer and it was due to your hard work.  We are excited about the future applications of your research, and we are also very excited about your futures!  We had a great summer and I’m glad to hear from your comments that you did too.  Please keep in touch, you know where to find us…

Spring at MSUBI

Welcome to spring at MSUBI.  The Holland area is particularly beautiful this time of year.  Even the tulips are blooming already and the whole town is preparing for the Tulip Time festival.

We are also ready to welcome our researchers for the summer:

Rachel Beltman – Graduate of University of Detroit Mercy

Korey Cook – Graduate of Hope College

Anthony Porath – Student at Alma College

Anna-Catharina Wilhelm – Graduate of Michigan Technological University

Congratulations to Rachel, Korey, Anthony and Anna.  We are excited to get to work with you.