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BIG CHANGES AND NEW FACES: HELLO TO 2023 INTERNS!

Here at AETC, we appreciate our many new faces as we continue to support continuous improvement and education through technological innovation. Let’s celebrate our 2023 interns!


As a scientific writing intern, Eesha Maisuria worked with AETC from January 2022 to May 2023. Over her year at the company, Eesha was involved in interviewing, writing grant proposals, formatting reports, and more, allowing her to interact with the incredible and tight-knit employees and clients at AETC. For each project, she explained how excited she was for the opportunity, guidance, and exploration of her abilities, even with little prior experience. She says everyone she had interacted with throughout her time was nothing but helpful, kind, encouraging, and mentoring. At each stage of a project, the advice and guidance from others allowed Eesha to gain additional skills.


Eesha states, "At AETC, a woman-owned small business, one could see how close and encouraging the environment was. Even during the busiest of times, everyone was working together. I have received so much with AETC's help. I am happy to say that I worked at AETC."


Sean Burns was an engineering intern at AETC from January to April of 2023 before becoming a full-time employee. Sean supported full-time employees in many ways, including working on a CAD model of graphite compression mold, making technical drawings, assisting in the 2D and 3D diagrams for the graphite processing plant, creating rubber samples using rubber vulcanization mold, testing samples with a tension machine, and working hands-on in scientific lab work centered on rubber gaskets. Sean truly gained a diversified portfolio of experience.


Sean states, "I enjoyed working at AETC. I worked with a good team where we had comradery and could go back and forth with one another. There was a point where I realized I wanted to stay at AETC longer. I liked working at AETC and with the people on my team. I was able to have experience in various parts of projects. AETC is good for a new engineer learning and a fantastic place to start a career. This is why I decided to become a full-time AETC employee." As a full-time employee, Sean now continues these projects, furthering his experience, and he interacts directly with clients and customers of AETC. We can't wait to see more in the future.


AETC is also celebrating our summer 2023 interns and their amazing work. These interns come from diverse backgrounds across the country and have all helped AETC with their hard work, passion, and dedication.


Martha Kubakh, Chemistry Intern

Martha Kubakh: I am studying at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, majoring in chemistry and minoring in sustainability, energy, and environment. I am graduating in 2025 and have plans to attend a PhD program for electrochemistry. My fun fact is that I have been to six countries in Europe.


I was enticed by AETC’s internship program because they allow undergraduates the opportunity to work on electrochemistry, specifically lithium-ion batteries, hands-on. Many companies and institutions are very wary in doing so, but as the battery field continues to grow with renewable energy and electric vehicles, it is crucial to allow students to gather valuable experience in this field.

During my time here as an intern, I have worked on multiple projects including both CR2016 and CR2032 lithium-ion coin cells, lead-acid batteries, and AA batteries. For coin cells, I prepared the graphite slurry which I then cured and punched out into electrodes, which are then welded into the batteries. I assembled the half-cells in the glovebox (bottom cap, separator, electrolyte, lithium foil, spacer spring, and top cap) and cycled them on potentiostats. Likewise, I aided in the assembly of the lead acid batteries, which included weighing the grids, loading the cathodes and anode grids into the boxes, preparing the correct specific gravity sulfuric acid, adding the acid into the boxes, sealing off the flooded cells with silicone, cycling the batteries on the potentiostats, and monitoring the batteries for inconsistencies. For the AA batteries, I contributed to the manufacturing of manganese dioxide cathodes.

I am very excited to have had the opportunity to work with different types of batteries, as I want to continue researching batteries in the future, especially how they will transform the renewable energy storage capabilities.

Amelia Hitchingham, Materials Science Intern

Amelia Hitchingham: I just finished my junior year at Michigan State University, where I’m majoring in Materials Science and Engineering and minoring in German. I forge knives and swords for competition with a university team.


I was intrigued by AETC and its internship program because I wanted to gain more hands-on Research and Development experience in an industrial setting. Additionally, I am interested in sustainable energy sources and was excited by AETC’s work in sustainability.


At AETC, I have worked on various projects as a materials science intern. I worked on multiple projects with the federal government, as well as characterization work and materials testing, including testing mechanical and optical properties of manufactured composite graphite parts for rocketry. I’ve been introduced to graphite’s properties and its industry and learned a lot about batteries and electrochemistry. It has been very interesting learning about the graphite industry and new battery technology.

Jason Sexauer, Chemical Engineering Intern

Jason Sexauer: I am an upcoming senior at the University of Minnesota studying Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Computer Science. I will be graduating in 2024 with a Bachelor of Science, and I am working as Chemical Engineering intern here at AETC. For fun, I play intramural volleyball at the University of Minnesota.


AETC’s internship program drew me in because of its opportunities to work both in the lab as well as space to get more traditional engineering exposure. I was able to work on various projects involving characterization, ultra-high temperature fluidized bed reactor design, and making P&IDs. I worked alongside the mechanical engineers to have a hand in designing and acquiring equipment for the layout of the water-cooling system for the new building we are building in Wheeling, IL. From hands-on laboratory experiences to collaborating with professionals on real-world projects, this internship provides a comprehensive foundation for personal and professional growth.

Szymon Sernat, Engineering Intern

Szymon Sornat: I am studying at Loyola University Chicago with a major in molecular biology. At AETC, I have contributed to various projects through material testing and graphic design. I’ve most enjoyed meeting everyone at AETC and learning about the graphite & carbon industry.


Claire Puranananda: I am a rising senior at Tufts University where I am an ACS certified Chemistry and Geoscience double major. A fun fact about me is that I can tell fortunes with playing cards.



I was drawn to the AETC internship program as I was interested in physical science, and electrochemistry and this program seemed like a great way to get hands on experience working in Research and Development.

Claire Puranananda, Chemistry Intern

I've been working at AETC as a chemistry intern, and I have taken on a wide variety of chemical and electrochemical projects. I have been working extensively in graphite characterization, as well as in the creation of Lithium-ion and AA batteries. Additionally, I had the opportunity to get involved in an R&D project related to CR2032 Li-ion batteries. I learned a lot about the graphite industry, as well as batteries in general and I am excited to use what I have learned to help further progress towards sustainable energy solutions.


All in all, our interns have made great contributions to AETC. We are thankful for their work and have enjoyed their time with us. We hope this experience will serve them well in all their future endeavors. We look forward to new interns and staff next winter and summer!

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