Captivating chemistry

Student participates in summer chemistry internship



William Herrmann, senior chemistry major, completed an internship with Pace Analytical in Boston this past summer. He contributed to their research from June to August through data analysis and working on projects in the lab. 

Pace Analytical is a sampling and testing firm that conducts research and develops prototype pharmaceuticals. The daily routine for Herrmann ranged from research to data analysis or running tests. 

“I learned how to use a lot of laboratory instruments such as HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography), spectrometers, fluorometer, as well as practicing lab skills like pipetting, weighing, and measuring,” said Herrmann. These skills are crucial for Herrmann to practice in a real life setting for his future career in chemistry. 

This internship showed Herrmann what working on industrial chemistry projects is like. Industrial chemistry is transforming matter into useful materials, so this was perfect for Herrmann considering he enjoyed taking organic chemistry. Herrmann originally found the internship through one of his chemistry professors at Walla Walla University. 

The projects assigned to Herrmann was his favorite part within the internship allowing him to practice problem solving as a chemist. One of his assignments was to determine why a specific compound was giving different numbers with each test and not meeting the correct accuracy. “I worked on setting up experiments to test different variables to try to determine what it was that was causing the accuracy readings to be so sporadic,” said Herrmann. 

Herrmann has thoroughly enjoyed his science classes here at WWU, and this internship allowed him to practice what he learned in the classroom in a real laboratory. This internship helped Herrmann narrow down what he wants to do after graduating and gain practical chemistry skills. 

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Posted on January 11, 2023. 


Portrait of student
One of Herrmann's favorite courses at WWU is organic chemistry.