The End of my Journey at Imprint Energy

Throughout the summer I have been exposed to and learned several techniques to characterize the company’s printed battery technology. During my first week at Imprint, I partnered with another intern and one of the battery scientists to learn about the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The machine was fun to use because I could obtain a clear and zoomed in view of the layers that compromised the battery. It is really exciting be able to see in such detail the small particles of anode, cathode and electrolyte and understand how they’re all layered together.

A few weeks ago, I was given the task to conduct a handling experiment on the printed batteries. The small test was to provide a better understanding of how light handling would effect the battery performance. I would provide some light handling to the battery and measure its performance right after and an hour after the light handling. For round one, the battery showed a significant decline in performance right after and an hour after being handled. A battery scientist explained to me that handling may change the battery’s chemistry. The following week, I performed the test again. This time, I passed each battery to other people with varying pressure. After testing the battery’s performance directly after and an hour later, the battery’s performance remained similar or relaxed back to its original value. It brought a lot of relief to the battery engineers and I.  I was also able to perform tests to see if wrinkling of the battery would prove to be harmful. The conclusion was that wrinkles contribute to an insignificant change in performance but discourages others through its aesthetics.

When I came into Imprint Energy in mid-May, the facility was continually receiving large shipments of batteries from their manufacturer. These were the batteries that needed to be tested before they were to be shipped out or used for experimentation. In order to manage this large load of batteries, there needed to be an identification system put in place and one that was tangible. That was one of my first independent tasks. I needed to come up with an efficient system to organize the battery names. I spent hours doing the most repetitive task of making spreadsheets for the battery engineer.

As her time began to fill up with other tests and tasks, she needed help. I began to work under her within the second week on testing newly arrived batteries. As I began to do this task, I learned to become fast and more efficient. I learned how to troubleshoot problems with the testing machine and became an expert in this one task. I became the main person to get the job done to create the naming system, test and retest the batteries coming in. As the days went by, I could test hundreds of batteries at once with little issues.

As the summer went by, my job became more important. The demand was growing and I no longer had the capacity to test the quantity necessary by myself. This is when I had begun to train other lab technicians and operators. It was really joyous for me to share this process with them. I had seen this process from the beginning, learn to make it more efficient and I am now teaching others. The quota began to increase as more people were being trained. I was to manage the people testing to ensure that testing was being done correctly and daily quotas were being met.

Most days are busy and others are not able to help me. I’ve spent a lot of time pushing myself to meet a quota that was supposed to be done by several people.

Since I will be leaving Imprint soon, I will spend my last days training Jerron, a new intern from Singapore. For now he will team up with Bre to ensure testing is done but will likely take over whenever the academic year begins.

My internship at Imprint Energy this summer was nothing that I had expected. It has been a challenging summer but it has all allowed me to grow personally and learn to become a better worker.

One of the biggest lessons I struggled with in the beginning of the internship was to learn to be a team player. Everyone thinks they are a team player. There is a misconception that if one gets along with others you are automatically a team player. This is completely false.

During my time at Imprint I was placed in a position where I was to do a very tedious task every single day. As most would assume, I did not like it. At times, I believed that others did not like me or that I was unwanted.

It was one day when Ambar talked to me that showed me that I needed to change my outlook. I needed to learn to be a team player. The company was in a time where batteries needed to be tested in order to be shipped. Not only was this task important, it required someone who is meticulous and required many organizational skills. Christine had told me in the beginning that everyone at Imprint is put in a position that works best for them. Her sentiments began to make sense when I started to realize this. Doing this task forced me to be more detail oriented and systematic. The reason I struggled in the beginning was because I skipped over fine details and months afterwards I am careful and accurate.

I came into Imprint Energy as a battery engineering intern. I wanted to learn more about batteries, become a better scientist and grow personally and professionally. Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish all of this by doing the same repetitive tedious task for four months. I was forced to learn more about battery performance since that was all I had done. I become more thorough and meticulous in my work as not to miss any information. I learned to be a better team player and learned to be a great worker.

I am extremely grateful to have been placed at Imprint Energy this summer. It has been an enriching experience to be around bright minds and fun personalities. Working with Christine is extremely inspirational. She is a wife, soon to be mother and a great engineer working hard to realize a passion. It has been an absolutely amazing experience this summer.