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Chemical engineering major Joel Gross ’05 (Northampton, Pa.) designed and installed a compressed air system and made other significant contributions to MicroClean, Inc. of Bethlehem during an internship with the company this summer.

Gross worked on a variety of projects under the supervision of Mike Regits, vice president of development and father of Shawn Regits ’05, starting June 3 and finishing Aug. 16.

“I constructed and aided in the design of steady stream visible vapor carts that test for laminar air flow in clean rooms,” says Gross. “I designed and installed a compressed air system for three clean rooms. I also designed and installed the ductwork for yet another clean room. And I performed a lot of odd jobs such as installing HEPA filters and sealing the airflow systems. Furthermore, I have been asked to assist MicroClean on a project by which an ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standard will be set for the method to measure airflow velocities in exhausted form biological safety cabinets.”

The internship gave Gross his first taste of working in a professional environment.

“It was a neat experience getting to work side-by-side with many different types of people,” he says. “Plus, I got to apply my problem-solving skills to a wide variety of problems.”

“I got a lot of practical experience at MicroClean, especially in working with tools I had never used and in learning how to do basic electrical wiring,” he adds. “Additionally, I learned the fundamentals of how purified air systems work, i.e., clean rooms, HEPA filtration, etc.”

Gross hopes to enter the chemical engineering field and start his own company one day.

“Working alongside Mike (Regits), I got an up-close look at how a business is supposed to be run.”

Gross says that he has also benefited from his relationships with Lafayette professors.

“I have been very impressed with the mathematics department at Lafayette,” he says. “My three professors in the department thus far, Professor (Thomas) Hill, Professor (Arthur) Gorman and Professor (Rob) Root, have all been top-notch educators and great people on a personal level. And in general, I feel that one of Lafayette’s strongest areas is the willingness of the professors, like (chemical engineering) Professor Scott Moor, to go out of their way to give you a hand and make sure you get the best education possible.”

A member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Gross received honorable mention in last semester’s Team Barge Mathematics Competition and plans to participate again this year. He is involved in the community group Partnership for Successful Kids, having served as chairman, and volunteers in Lehigh Little League as a baseball coach and umpire.

Categorized in: Academic News