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Keith Fahnestock Keith Fahnestock
Co-op Abroad Developing Affordable Clean Water Solutions

Where did you co-op?

I had my third co-op at IEMN — the Institute d’Electronique, de Microelectronique, et de Nanotechnologie in Lille, France. IEMN specializes in cleanroom development of thin films and microelectronics.

What did you do?

I investigated how gold nanoparticles react on thin polymer films to help develop a natural polymer-based sensor for heavy metal detection—necessary for identifying sources of clean drinking water in developing countries.

The best part about working while in school...

...is the chance to experience a world outside of Drexel University. The different experiences and educational backgrounds of coworkers can change something that would have been just a job into an enlightening learning experience.

How has your co-op affected your career goals?

My third and final coop with IEMN opened my eyes to academic research. Before this coop, I had every intention of graduating directly into a job in the polymer industry, but after working side by side with doctoral and post-doctoral students, I realized that this was something incredibly interesting, and more than that, something that I wanted to do myself.

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Last updated Monday, May 17, 2010