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Learning in the laboratory

Freddy Sanchez ’11, right, interned this summer as a research assistant with Kurt Hoffman, professor of physics.

Freddy Sanchez ’11
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
Major: natural and mathematical science

with microscopeSanchez in the lab.

As a summer intern, I learned in Whitman’s physics department as part of a laboratory research team directed by Kurt Hoffman, professor of physics. Through my research, I learned how to use laser spectrometers and the new scanning electron microscope.

We conducted a series of studies on the sol-gel process, an inexpensive, room-temperature chemical technique that can produce samples nearly identical to melted glass in density and optical quality. Our goal was to increase the luminescence and optical efficiency of sol-gel glasses for its many potential applications as energy media.

Since I am pursuing a degree in engineering, this internship was closely related to my career path. I had the opportunity to be a part of cutting-edge research and experience the actual work of a research scientist. The working environment gave me a better idea of the excitement and challenges of a career in science and engineering. It was an eye-opening experience, which has prepared me for future independent research projects and advance research in graduate school. Furthermore, it gave me the experience and knowledge required for future internships and job opportunities.

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