Honors Summer Snapshots: PJ

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2021 summer routines via photos. PJ Micksch (sophomore in Materials Engineering) is BEHIND YOU WITH A PAINTBALL GUN:

Hello! My name is PJ Micksch, and I am a sophomore majoring in Materials Engineering and minoring in Biomedical Engineering. I was born and raised in Wadsworth, IL, a small suburb equidistant from Chicago and Milwaukee. After finals week of spring 2021, I moved back home for the summer and had a quick two-week break before starting my internship. In those two weeks, my whole family (I have 4 siblings, most of which have moved out) got together to watch my youngest brother graduate from high school! I was also able to spend some time with my friends in Chicago and help another friend move out of his house.

Most of my summer was spent interning at Abbott, a healthcare company that makes medical devices, nutritional products, and some pharmaceuticals. My team works on creating the antibodies used in blood screening instruments to test for a wide variety of diseases including COVID-19, HIV-1, HBV, and HCV. I also spent some time in a materials characterization lab investigating packaging leaks by using an SEM (pictured) and FTIR to detect if the product materials had been absorbed by the packaging. 

In addition to my internship, I also did a lot of work for my fraternity to help bring us back to campus and get us ready for all the events coming this fall. One project I did for that was creating a digital model of our chapter house so that we could draw accurate floor plans and get a sense of how the building was put together and how we can improve it when we move back into it for the fall semester.

On July 4th weekend, I spent some time back in Ames to see friends. We all drove out to Lake Okoboji for their Independence Day fair and fireworks!

Back home, I went paintballing in Wisconsin for the first time with a group of friends from high school. I will definitely be looking for outdoor paintball places around Ames. It is FUN!!!

One of the best days of the summer was at Lollapalooza. I got to see performers like Journey, Megan Thee Stallion, Trippie Redd, Iann Dior, and Laundry Day!

Finally, the last couple of weeks of the internship involved many of the interns from around the country coming to the same site I was at all summer. We did our best to fit an entire summer of activities into those two weeks going to Chicago, a baseball game in Milwaukee, touring some historical sites, and playing Top Golf among others!

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