At week 2, I am finishing up all the preliminary readings and narrowing my focus on developing my own procedures for various methods of testing Halide Mitigation in FGD Purge Streams. It is a bit tedious, but this project is a great opportunity to apply my efforts and abilities to real-world problems in the Energy and Power Industry, and under the guidance of an amazing faculty mentor. Starting from scratch on a research project is tedious, but essential to the understanding of what research really is. It is also giving me a chance to reconnect with other students and faculty I have worked with before, and develop a strong relationship with my department, as well as gaining support, guidance, and assistance for my own project from the research team I have been assisting for the past six months.
For a start to week 3, I got to tour the facility my sample materials for testing came from and was able to ask questions and openly communicate with the people from Duke Power. I learned so much and was able to see where and how my research will be used in the next few years. It gives what I am working on purpose and meaning in a whole new way. Not only that but my visit this morning truly opened new doors for me within the industry. Maybe in the next three to five years, everyone will be seeing the results of some of my experiences from this summer in the way Duke operates and how they work to make the environment better through a proactive, and not a reactive, approach to potential concerns. :)
I had briefly left UNCC before to attend NCSU, and I decided to come back "home." Now, I am so glad that I did because I never would have had this communication, experience, and opportunity at NCSU as an undergraduate student to the extent that I have here. I love being a 49er!!!
-- Bekah Vestal