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May 29, 2013

Purdue students selected as Burton Morgan interns to work with Ohio-based companies

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seven Purdue University undergraduate students have been selected as the Burton D. Morgan interns for 2013, working at several Northeast Ohio-based startup companies this summer.

Through the Interns for Entrepreneurship program, the Purdue students will spend 10-12 weeks working a total of 400 hours at the companies, which are involved in the advanced materials, biotechnology, green technology and aerospace industries.

The internship program, funded through a two-year, $150,000 grant from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation in 2012, is led by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Discovery Learning Research Center in Purdue's Discovery Park.

Ohioan Evan Arnold, a Purdue computer science and electrical engineering technology major, will work at Cleveland-based Force Robots, a startup company developing a new industrial robot platform capable of automating labor-intensive tasks that have defied conventional robots.

Physics student Kory Pritchett of Indiana and Neil Veigas, a mechanical engineering technology major from Qatar, are placed with ABS Materials Inc. The Wooster, Ohio green-tech company, which participated in the Purdue program's inaugural year, provides innovative water-quality systems for the remediation of solvents, pesticides and oil-water mixtures.

Computer graphics technology major Christopher Bill of Indiana will intern at GenomOncology, a Westlake, Ohio, company that has developed proprietary software and analytical tools for rapidly and interactively analyzing and interpreting sequenced genomic data.

Electrical engineering students William Keller of New York and Joseph Sudibyo of Indonesia and chemical engineering student Melody Rong from China will work at MegaJoule Storage LLC, an early-stage company in Cleveland developing electrical energy storage for utilities and others industries. 

"The 2013 class of Burton Morgan Ohio interns will continue the momentum we have gained through our partnership with Purdue for promising high-tech companies in Northeast Ohio," said Deborah Hoover, president of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. "We also are excited that we have expanded the number of companies in Ohio participating in this exciting internship program, broadening the impact we hope to make for our Midwest economy."

Purdue undergraduates from all majors were encouraged to participate in Interns for Entrepreneurship, and its sister program, Interns for Indiana. To qualify, students must be working toward their first baccalaureate degree, have a GPA of at least 2.8 and 60 or more credits. 

The companies must be entrepreneurial, for-profit in the high-tech sector and located in Indiana or Northeast Ohio. The goal is to provide student interns with high-quality entrepreneurial experiences. Further, the companies must demonstrate the potential to grow in a manner that would allow them to hire additional full-time college-educated employees in the near future. 

"These interns drive economic development by fueling company growth through their contributions of energy, hard work, ideas and expertise," said Monica Shively, coordinator for the two programs. "Interns gain firsthand understanding of entrepreneurship along with enhanced technical, professional and communication skills."

Started in 2004, the Interns for Entrepreneurship and Interns for Indiana programs enhance student learning by facilitating practical hands-on experiences for all majors. The Interns for Indiana initiative, primarily funded by the Lilly Endowment, has matched more than 550 Purdue students with internships at 185 Indiana startup companies and have provided more than 200,000 combined hours of labor.

Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is housed in a $7 million facility funded through The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, which was established by the late Burton D. Morgan, a 1938 Purdue graduate in mechanical engineering who started or helped found more than 50 businesses.

The Discovery Learning Research Center, housed in the $25 million Hall for Discovery and Learning Research in Discovery Park, focuses on educational research and innovation in teaching, technologies, and learning in STEM fields through collaboration with experts in academia, industry and K-12 education. 

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources:  Deborah Hoover, 330-655-1660, dhoover@bdmorganfdn.org

Monica Shively, 765-496-1617, shivelmm@purdue.edu