KU News Release


June 14, 2011
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, 785-864-8858

KU students assist Kansas businesses as Pollution Prevention Institute interns

LAWRENCE — Four seniors from the University of Kansas will spend the summer gaining hands-on experience and providing support for Kansas businesses as interns through the Pollution Prevention Institute at Kansas State University.

Joseph Gerald Lauth, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Louis, Mo., is the son of John and Bernadette Lauth and a graduate of Saint Louis University High School. He will work at Hill’s Pet Nutrition in Topeka.

Mikhail Marchenko, a senior in environmental studies from Shawnee, is the son of Aleksandra Walter and a graduate of Mill Valley High School. This summer, he will work at Associated Purchasing Services in Overland Park.

Paige A. Brewer, a senior in chemical engineering from Overland Park, is the daughter of Cheryl and James Brewer and a graduate of Olathe East High School. She will work at Kansas Army National Guard in Topeka.

Raoul Sequeira, a senior in chemical engineering from Olathe, is the son of John and Maria Sequeira and a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School. He will work at Residence Inn by Marriott in Overland Park.

The interns will work to improve corporate sustainability by reducing waste, saving money and protecting the Kansas environment.

The internship program links top-level engineering and environmental sciences students with host companies to research projects that reduce industrial emissions and waste and conserve natural resources.

Institute officials estimated that the 10 student interns in 2010 collectively identified savings of more than the equivalent of 18.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity, 18 million gallons of water, 257 tons of solid waste and $740,000 in operating and disposal costs for Kansas business and industry.

If implemented, total recommendations from the past five years, involving six universities or colleges and more than 22 institutions, would collectively realize savings of up to $6.5 million.

Charged with developing effective waste-reducing solutions, the interns’ work helps the companies reduce operating costs, regulatory compliance burdens and their environmental footprint. The students work with a technical adviser from the Pollution Prevention Institute and personnel from their host companies to identify appropriate projects.

“The interns gain hands-on experience in an industrial setting, as well as an understanding of pollution prevention strategies for problem solving and environmental management,” said Nancy Larson, director of the Pollution Prevention Institute.

For more information, go to the Pollution Prevention Institute website.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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