Sunday, August 16, 2015

First Impressions: Osuji Internship

Good evening, everyone.

My name is Sofia Azmal, and I’m a rising high schooler who was given the opportunity to work inside the Osuji Lab. didn’t have any high expectations coming into my internship, because I wanted a fresh template to work off of. If my expectations were too high, I would just disappointment myself. Rather than visualizing my future, I focused on the “now” and found myself in a wonderful intern position. Past experiences from EVO goers were misleading. I’d heard some were scrubbing mud off of fossils, while others categorized and filed papers. I never assumed that my work would just be “cleaning up the office space”, but I also didn’t have expectations that would put me into a critical position in the lab. When I first arrived, other in the lab greeted me with questionable expressions—nonetheless with “Hellos”. The days following that first meet were simple, my mentor and I were given a research question to investigate for us. The Osuji lab was our oyster to cultivate this project, and we began testing different variables that would lead to the most optimal zinc-oxide nanorod arrays on brass. On paper, the project seemed like a difficult synthesis that focused on the development of block-copolymer self assembly. I realized during my first week that this wasn’t the case. The concepts were simple to understand with a little explanation. Rather than a jumbled mess of chemical phrases, I understood my mission in the lab for the next month.

My mission was to control the geometry of ZnO nanorods on brass substrates with the use of block copolymer self-assembly.

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