Category Archives: Lab Updates

Amber Little

Amber is our third intern for summer 2021.  She is a Chemical Engineering student from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  Her summer abstract is titled “Electrochemical Investigation of a Symmetric Nonaqueous Redox Flow Battery”.

Amber is returning to Rose-Hulman for her last year to complete her degree.  Amber is a very efficient lab worker and she helped us continue the development of a working redox flow battery prototype.  Thank you for spending the summer with us, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

Charley Hengesbach

Charley Hengesbach spent her summer with us in beautiful Holland, MI.  She graduated from Alma College with a degree in Chemistry in the spring of this year.  Her abstract was titled “Exploiting a Pyrylium Route to New Redox-Active Pyridinium Compounds”.

We really enjoyed having Charley with us this summer, and she must have enjoyed spending it with us because she will be continuing her employment with Jolt Energy.  We are really thrilled that she has decided to stick around.

Johnny Drozd

Johnny is our first highlighted intern of summer 2021.  He is a Chemistry student from Western Michigan University.  Johnny came to us interested in synthesis and we aim to please.  His poster was titled “The Synthesis of Pyridinium Salts for Electrochemical Applications”.

Johnny is a great, fun and talented chemist.  He is returning to Western for one more semester and we are excited to find out what comes next for him.  Thanks for spending the summer with us!

MSU Mid-Sure Conference Presentations

Two of our summer interns chose to participate in the MSU Mid-Sure Conference.  This year this conference and these presentations were virtual.  Go to YouTube and check out their summer research…

Amber Little: “Electrochemical Investigation of a Symmetric Nonaqueous Redox Flow Battery”


Johnny Drozd: “The Synthesis of Pyridinium Salts for Electrochemical Applications”


Hope College Summer Research Symposium 2021

We have thanked Hope College many times for including us in their Summer Research Symposiums and we are indebted to them again…  Many thanks for allowing our students to show off their hard work this summer.  The symposium was a great success with a lot of interesting research being displayed.  Our MSU OESLab group had five posters of the more than forty that were displayed.  There are some great research contributions going on at Hope College!


Marcus Brinks

Marcus was hired in September 2020 and started as a full-time researcher.  He has a Chemical  Engineering degree and a Chemistry degree from Hope College class of 2020.  Marcus has been working hard at organic synthesis of novel organic electron donating compounds for the lab.  He is a great addition to the lab, and he will be a great asset to our summer interns.

What has the OESL been doing for six months?

What have we been doing for the last six months of no updates?  The answer is we are still here and we are still going strong!

There are currently 5 summer interns working in the lab (yes, IN the lab).  We are fortunate enough to have the support of Michigan State University to bring our interns into the lab for wet lab work the beginning of June.  We are taking all of the precautions we can take to protect our interns and our researchers from the spread of COVID-19, and we have been able to keep our summer program working.  We even have one Jolt intern working with us this summer.

Katherine Hoegeman:  MSU Senior Chemistry major

Elizabeth Hoekstra:  MTU Chemical Engineering graduate

Isabella Purosky:  Jolt intern:  GVSU Senior Biochemistry and Music major

Nicholas Quebbeman: MSU Senior Chemical Engineer

Abigail Snay:  Lee University Senior Chemistry major

Isaac Spackman:  Calvin University Junior Chemistry/Mechanical Engineering major

I will have updates on each of them and their work as the summer progresses.  Also, updates on our full time researchers and their futures.  Stay safe everyone and…

West Michigan ACS Community Outreach

The West Michigan Chapter of the American Chemical Society had an amazing event and invited us to take part at Grand Valley State University.  They attempted the Guinness World Record for largest periodic table.  Many different college and high school groups selected an element and created that portion of the periodic table.  We presented posters and hosted an experiment table.


Andrew Rajewski

Andy’s final day with our lab is Friday, October 11.  He has been researching with us for more than a year and is relocating to Ann Arbor to work for PIDC doing Research and Development for them.  He is also planning on continuing to grad school next year.

Andy has become a fantastic “synthesizer” over his year with us.  He has presented a talk at ECS in Dallas and presented posters at ACS Great Lakes and the Hope College Schaap Symposium.  He has advanced our understanding of donor/acceptor compounds for organic redox flow batteries.  But more importantly, he is a fun addition to our lab and we will miss his smile.  “Cheers” to your future Andy!

Summer 2019 Wrap-up

Thanks for a great summer and another great intern group!

After tours, poster sessions, a lot of research and a lot of ice cream, we got some good feedback for next year.  It is good to know that everyone that filled out the evaluation form would recommend the MSUBI Summer Intern program to others.  Below are some other comments we received…

What I liked most?  Doing actual relevant science!  and working with projects where I have some control over the direction, priorities and techniques…  I liked having ownership of a project, in the sense that I had to decide what direction to go in and had some guidance but also the chance to pursue avenues that caught my eye….  I liked the opportunity to work towards something with a real-life application that’s realistic and impactful.

Were expectations reasonable?  Yes, I think that like any research position progress isn’t always linear, but clear goals were set and progress was reported while suggestions were given to help toward those goals.

Was the project interesting?  Yes, it allowed me to expand my scientific knowledge by doing some inorganic synthesis and learning new electrochemical techniques.

Was the experience valuable?  Absolutely!