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BPI Interns completing their term with huge success

The first cohort of interns are wrapping up a 6 month business intelligence project at the BioProducts Institute. “The BPI team was reinvigorated with the active participation of the interns, who were integral to our activities, daily meetings and weekly “power hour”, where they provided excellent insights about their discoveries. The interns were deeply engaged and connected with the team and I cannot think of a better way to learn about topical subjects and provide valuable intelligence to an organization than this exercise with our first group of interns.” – Orlando Rojas, BPI Scientific Director.

Although they come from different technical backgrounds, from just entering university to recent PhD graduate, Kelsi, Tilda, Kate and Tyler have enjoyed working together to learn and to develop their professional skills. "Coming from a chemistry background, the internship at BPI was an excellent opportunity to dive head first into a new area and learn both the technical and economic aspects of the bioproducts field.” - Kelsi Lix

The interns started at BPI at the beginning of October, working virtually due to the pandemic. Although they never met in person, their online connection and communication allowed them to work seamlessly together. They have worked to become subject matter experts on topics such as lignin and nanocellulose, and they developed an understanding of the bioproducts business landscape and market. Over the 6 month internship, they have applied their collective knowledge to many different projects within and outside of the BPI operations team. “Working on a collaborative market study with the BC Pulp & Paper BioAlliance was an amazing opportunity to see how innovative research at UBC is making its way into industry.” - Kate Hickey

In their final week, on March 25th, the interns will be hosting and presenting a webinar titled Wiped Out: The Need for Biodegradability Innovations in Wet Wipes. Based on the research from their review paper, the webinar will include presentations from experts in industry and academia, as well as a panel discussion. “Through my term at BPI, I have learned much about the technical processes of manufacturing wipes, and through my findings have gained a deeper appreciation for the environmental and economic impacts of everyday items.” - Tyler Berretta

The first cohort of BPI interns will be leaving behind several business intelligence research initiatives, reports, and presentations. Kelsi, Tilda, Kate and Tyler will take with them a host of new skills as researchers and communicators as they move on to roles as students, engineers, and research scientists. “Although my time at BPI was short, I have learned many new research skills and made many lasting connections. The internship has given me experience in a field that I really enjoy and is a great stepping stone to continuing my career in environmental sustainability.” - Tilda Hadley.