Charles Knilans (2012 UMD Chemical Engineering Graduate with Twin Metals), Cody Shaffer, Matt Kleinhaus, and Nicole Bolea
Hello, my name is Cody Shaffer. With the help of Twin Metals, I was offered a Spring 2013 co-op position with CESL Ltd in Vancouver, B.C. CESL is a research facility for TECK, Canada’s largest mining company. At this facility we researched hydrometallurgy, an environmentally friendly alternative to smelting for copper metal extraction. I was assigned to the pressurized oxidation circuit in the pilot plant where the copper is leached into solution, filtered, treated, and recycled. It was really cool to see how our chemical engineering course work is used in the real world. It was also enlightening, though frustrating at times, to see how pumps would seize and pipes with solids would clog in a real life situation, constantly affecting the reaction process. Another great part of this co-op was time to explore Vancouver, by far one of the greatest cities I have visited. We had time to explore the city, nature parks, and amazing hikes. This has definitely been a life-changing experience for me, and I would encourage all chemical engineering students do a coop.
My name is Matt Kleinhaus. I also had the opportunity to travel to Vancouver BC and work with a leading hydrometallurgy research group, CESL. It was exciting to live in another country for four months and work and learn. This was my first foray into the mining industry. Mining is a large industry worldwide, not just in Minnesota. CESL is a research division of Teck, one of the largest diversified mining companies in the world. As chemical engineering co-op students we operated the pilot plant. My duties were to adjust the pH levels of reagents, troubleshoot any problems, and take samples periodically for data collection and analysis. I learned quickly what it’s like to work in a pilot plant, which is the first stage in analyzing a new process, so the problem solving opportunities were plentiful. I also had the chance first-hand to use concepts from our courses. I experienced separators, heat exchangers, pumps, and a lot of PVC. Outside of technical work I also saw how a research division works within a larger company. The co-op was a great experience and if you ever get a chance to visit Vancouver, it is beautiful!
One of the most rewarding experiences you can have in college is to visit other places and cultures.
My name is Nicole Bolea and I’m in my final year in Chemical Engineering at UMD. I just came back from one of these ultimate opportunities working with a great group of chemical engineering students from UMD in Vancouver, British Columbia. Teck Resources Ltd has a history of employing many engineering students to run their research campaigns. We were the first students from the U.S. This presented a challenging and exciting experience - first just to get there, and then to prove we were up to the task. Research is exciting and challenging because everything is constantly changing to try new things and improve the process. Along with running the operation we were given projects to supplement our engineering learning. This experience has given me a wider perspective that helped me grow as an engineer. Working shift work presented us with a lot time during off days to experience the regional culture of Vancouver, go hiking, snowboarding, and enjoy beautiful British Columbia.
Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Program
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- Student-centered, accredited, four year program. Information on Admission Requirements, General Requirements, and Program Requirements can be found at: ChE Program Details
- Minors in Biochemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering
- Mission, Program Educational Objectives, and Student Outcomes to pursue knowledge and its application for the betterment of society
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- Develops the student's technical, communication, and leadership skills
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Iron Range UMD Graduate Engineering Education Program
Professional Master Of Engineering (MEng)
My name is Maggie Skelton. I am a 2005 Graduate of the UMD Chemical Engineering program. I started working at Minnesota Power in 2006 as a Chemical Engineer. I have worked on many environmental related projects including researching, testing and designing a mercury filter system for waste water, planning and executing environmental tests and full scale design for SO2, NOx and Hg removal from flue gas, water conservation projects and most recently am a part of the project engineering team for a major environmental retrofit project at our Boswell Energy Center.
During the summer of 2010, I was introduced to the UMD Masters of Engineering program, and knew this was the right time and path for me to start my graduate degree. This program allowed me to continue to work full time, as well as complete the courses necessary since the classes were offered through ITV and on-line. The courses I took were able to broaden my knowledge of projects I had worked on or was currently working on including project management, management of engineers and technology, advanced process control, pollution control, hazardous waste process engineering, and water quality engineering. For my final project, I was able to choose a project that I was currently working on with Minnesota Power, mercury removal in a power plant. I had been working on mercury removal projects from both water and flue gas since 2006. This project allowed me to bring together everything I learned in my graduate program, but also to have the opportunity to look deeper into the tests and technology I was working on at Minnesota Power by looking into what exactly happens in the process of mercury removal, and what operational variables may actually affect mercury removal.
After my first year in the masters program, my husband, Josh and I had our first baby. The flexibility of the masters program allowed me to continue taking a course, while allowing plenty of time for our new son, Brooks. I also was able to structure my course schedule to allow plenty of study time for my professional engineering test. May 2013, I completed the Masters of Engineering, Chemical Engineer as well as passed my professional engineering exam. I am very thankful for the flexible opportunity I was given from both Minnesota Power and the UMD Masters of Engineering program to allow me to continue working full time, complete my graduate degree, expand my family and pursue my P.E. license!