Meet the Intern: Stephen Richardson

Prairie State is excited to welcome Stephen Richardson back to campus as our Chemical Engineering Intern this summer.

Stephen is from Belleville, Illinois. He attends Iowa State University (ISU) as a chemical engineering major with a minor in energy systems. This fall will be his final semester. At ISU, Stephen is involved with ChemE Car, a team who designs and builds a chemically powered car. With this team, he is tasked with leading the group responsible for creating the microbial fuel cell that powers the car.

Before finding Prairie State, Stephen built his lawn care business. He grew from one client to over twenty, increasing his equipment from a push mower to a riding mower and trailer. Stephen was also the Chemical Engineering Intern last summer at Prairie State, and he is excited to return this year.

Stephen appreciated the experience he gained from the internship program. “Last year I felt very welcomed to give my opinion, and my coworkers created a great, constructive work environment. They also gave me the opportunity to weigh in on the variety of projects I worked on, which allowed me to guide my learning experience.”

This year, Stephen will be performing Oxamine trials; this will involve testing a new technology to determine its economic efficiency, as well as its effectiveness as a biocide when compared to bleach. He will also be working on a program that would allow the control room to receive real-time information from chloride monitors and gypsum moisture sensors, thus eliminating the need to physically take samples on a regular basis. This would allow for more efficient chloride purging and higher-quality gypsum.

Stephen will return to ISU in the fall to complete his degree. Following his December graduation, he will search for a job. He would prefer to work in the power industry, but he is not opposed to petrochemicals and refining. If he doesn’t end up at Prairie State, Stephen would like to work in Iowa or Minnesota.