I completed one coop work-term with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at their Mining and Mineral Sciences Lab (MMSL) in Sudbury, Ontario. This was both a challenging and rewarding experience as it tied together many fundamental theories reviewed in my first two years at University. It was a great experience to learn the practicality of the theory, and to see its many uses in real world experiences.
Over the course of my work-term, I accomplished the following work:
- Analyzed elemental and organic carbon using a thermal optical aerosol carbon analyzer (TOC);
- Measured silica dust using a Siemens X-Ray Diffractometer;
- Operated a wind tunnel to prepare silica standards;
- Performed a study to improve quality control with TOC; and
- Collected on-site air samples for analysis at a Sudbury Mine.
My experience with the Mining and Mineral Sciences Lab and NRCan allowed me to:
- Gain confidence while handling and reporting scientific data;
- Appreciate the need for standardized procedures to ensure data integrity;
- Acquire knowledge and insight into Canada’s mining industry;
- Work independently in a productive manner; and
- Develop an understanding and appreciation for Microsoft Excel macros.
Aside from the above-mentioned opportunities I had with the lab, I also developed a strong appreciation for standardized procedures (e.g., ISO standards) and more importantly, lab safety.