COD Students Participate in Prestigious Summer Internships

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By Mike McKissack

College of DuPage students Ray Addi (Westmont), Xinjie Wu (Bolingbrook) and Tony Yang (Streamwood) are participating in prestigious summer research internships made possible through a National Science Foundation grant.

Addi is at Argonne National Laboratory, while both Wu and Yang are at Northwestern University.

The internships were made possible through the College’s S-STEM Student Success program. The S-STEM program’s funding is provided by a National Science Foundation grant promoting STEM Student Success through Individualized Coaching and Interdisciplinary Community, through the Division of Undergraduate Education.

Addi is spending the summer working within a research team from the Material Science Division at Argonne under the supervision of Dr. Amanda Petford-Long. The team is studying the behavior of magnetic lattices consisting of micron size magnetic bars arranged in a quasicrystal pattern. His task at the lab is to calculate and analyze the energy at different nodes of the lattice using Object Oriented MicroMagnetic Framework (OOMMF) software to see how that energy changes under different external energy.

“This internship is giving me the opportunity to apply what I have studied so far at COD, keeping me curious in learning more scientific topics and craving more advanced studies,” he said. “I’m trying to learn everything I can about this specific project by reading related books and scientific articles. I’m also exploring different scientific research projects here at Argonne Lab by attending conferences and seminars.”

Addi said he developed a passion for electronics while still a teenager. He plans to transfer to the University of Illinois at Chicago and study electrical engineering.

“Since I started my studies at COD, my primary goal was to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering,” he said. “COD is offering me all the elements to achieve that. If you want a quality education at an affordable cost, College of DuPage is the best choice.”

Yang, who completed his Associate in Engineering Science degree at COD and graduated with honors this past May, plans to transfer this fall to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His ultimate goals are to earn a doctorate degree and pursue research related to renewable energy at a company or academic institution.

During the internship, he is researching organic photovoltaic cells in the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Northwestern University.

“This experience will help greatly in my future studies and career as I pursue future research opportunities,” said Yang. “Through this project, I am becoming familiar with different research techniques and developing my creative thinking abilities to approach and solve problems.”

Captivated by chemistry in elementary school after seeing a planetary model of an atom, Yang became interested in majoring in chemical engineering early on in high school. When it came time for college, Yang was set to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but unforeseen financial circumstances arose one week before he was set to move into his dorm. Despite a change of plans, he is pleased with his education at COD.

“College of DuPage is an amazing college, with excellent faculty, staff and many different resources,” he said. “Whether you want to pursue an associate degree and start a career or get general education credits and transfer to a four-year university, the faculty at COD will figure out the perfect plan for you. The academic plans they have are comparable to the progression of classes you would take in your first two years at a four-year university. Most importantly, the credits transfer.

“At COD, you can save money without settling for a mediocre education. Although I initially had to attend COD because of financial reasons, the excellent academics as well as the professional and caring faculty have made me glad I attended College of DuPage instead.”

Click here to learn more about the S-STEM Student Success program. Click here to learn more about STEM-related programs at COD.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 28,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

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