June 24th, 2016

William’s First Week

By William Cochran

June 24, 2016


The Advanced Fuels Building that houses the biodiesel processing pilot plant

Hello everyone. I’m Will Cochran, the new student worker at the Advanced Fuels Center here on the campus of Montana State University Northern. My first week in the Advanced Fuels Center has been a bit of a slow burn. Going from the hustle and bustle of an outdoors job to an office/laboratory setting has taken some getting used to. It has been helped along by the jovial attitude of the Research staff and assistants. Currently I am working on my third cup of coffee, a bit of a personal indulgence, and looking forward to learning the processes involved with the manufacturing and testing of biofuels.

The pilot plant, located in the Advanced Fuels Building, has been a little confusing. I am still getting used to its layout and those of the labs in the Advanced Technology Center (ATC). So far my lab time has been spent observing lab protocol and assisting with experiment procedures carried out by the other research assistants. In a way this new position is bringing back old memories as well as providing me an opportunity to create many more. In my capacity as a research assistant I am putting skills and knowledge I gained over the years as a biology student at Northern to use. It may seem a little odd but it was amusing having to deal with little things, such as ideal gas laws, in the lab while testing equipment.

It has been a long week, and I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend with friends and family; I’m sure a lot of people on campus feel the same way. Have a great summer everyone, and I hope you are as excited about the upcoming school year as I am.