August 11, 2017
Intern check-in: Kaylee Libbert
From organic acid leaks to running tests to decide the correct moisture content in gypsum for its transportation from the Air Quality Control System building to its storage site at Near Field, chemical engineering intern Kaylee Libbert has worked hard to improve Prairie State as well as her skills in the workplace.
“I learned so much more than I could ever learn from a book,” she said. “This whole experience has been incredible because I got hands on experience. You see a lot of people that think they know a lot just because they have an education, but you can learn so much more from hands on experience. I’ve learned a lot from the people that work here just by talking to them and asking for their opinions.”
Libbert’s projects this year will help make Prairie State safer and operate more efficiently for years to come.
One of her projects was with the gypsum transportation system. After gypsum, one of the boiler’s by-products, is removed from the boiler it makes its way to Near Field on a system of conveyor belts. Before getting onto the conveyors however, it is hydrated and rotated on large drums the size of small buses. One of the three drums was malfunctioning. Libbert helped diagnose the issue with the drum and recalculated the amount of moisture allowed in the gypsum in order for it to properly be placed onto the conveyor belt.
Libbert said that she hopes to see her projects completed before her internship ends.
Apart from learning about the systems that a facility the size of Prairie State uses, Libbert gained crucial people skills that will go on to help her in future jobs.
“I’ve made a lot of good connections this summer,” Libbert said. “I’ve earned a lot of people’s trust and I think I’ve learned to trust a lot of people here because their opinions are very valuable to me.”
After Libbert’s internship finishes, she will return to the University of Missouri for her final year. After her graduation Libbert will look for jobs in the power generating industry; she hopes to find herself returning to Prairie State as a full time employee next summer.