A four-month practicum placement, conducted in a participating partner laboratory, is an essential part of Trent’s Master of Instrumental Chemical Analysis (MICA) program. This is where eight months of laboratory and analytical training is put to the test in a professional setting.
Placement experience allows MICA students to take on a project that helps them build on the skills they developed in Trent’s world-class Water Quality Centre. Occasionally, a student will take the chance to move their field forward and affect change on a larger scale.
Davindar Panfair recently completed his MICA practicum placement at a pharmaceutical company. With some previous experience in pharmaceuticals, Davindar was able to take on a complex project that enabled him to develop a new method of simultaneously analyzing 22 amino acids in a single injection without chemically altering the substance being analyzed. This amounted to a savings in efficiency that was substantial enough for his host company to institute the new method into its client facility in the US. The method has since been applied to clinical trials to study the effect of a new drug treatment that increases the concentration of essential amino acids in the human body. The accurate quantitative measurement of amino acids was a critical step toward the success of the clinical trial.
MICA program trains students in advanced scientific skills
Davindar’s experience reflects the unique leadership of Trent’s MICA program. It is the only program of its kind in North America, providing students with advanced theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience with sophisticated and state of the art analytical instrumentation. The ability to operate, maintain, and troubleshoot such instruments makes graduates particularly attractive to employers and often results in students being offered positions or given promotions before the end of their placements.
“After completing the program, I felt like a scientist. Now there’s a scientist inside me, which grew here at Trent, and I feel so confident now that I have completed my placement,” says Davindar. “The in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge imparted by the faculty helped a great deal in my internship and will continue to help throughout my career.”