This year featured the inaugural Transcontinental iGEM Macquarie Internship (TiMI). This program aims to bring students from all over the world to gain hands-on experience in the unique environment of being part of an iGEM team. TiMI is designed to not only be an invaluable experience for the students themselves, but also to be a means by which iGEM can propagate – students from non-competing institutions can take their experiences home and form their own teams in the future. As an open-source competition, when iGEM proliferates, everyone wins!
This year’s intern is Pascal Helson, an engineering student from Ecole des Mines de Saint-Étienne, with a keen interest in renewable energy solutions. Excited by the potential of Macquarie University iGEM’s project to alleviate the looming global energy crisis he travelled all the way from France to bring his mathematical prowess to the fray. In doing so, he gained valuable experience working in Macquarie University’s dynamic, ground-breaking research environment whilst simultaneously immersing himself in the fascinating world of synthetic biology. Pascal’s involvement in our project has been a worthwhile scientific journey, broadening his horizons in a way which, as an engineering student, they otherwise might never have been.
Pascal’s background in maths, physics and computing proved invaluable in modelling the biological pathway from ALA to Protoporphyrin IX as well as estimating the production of hydrogen gas from Photosystem II. This served to inform our implementation strategy and gave crucial insight into the practicalities of producing hydrogen gas in a commercially viable manner.
“This was a great adventure which gave me invaluable experience in the research field. Engaging with other students from across the world in a captivating project with potential to solve a global issue is something I will never forget!” - Pascal Helson
For students interested in an internship commencing in 2016, please contact us.