Meet The Axia Institute’s 2024 Summer Interns

June 2024

(L to R) Shantanu Purandare, Molly Hemgesberg, Andrew Li and Danielle Cummins

Each year The Axia Institute hosts interns as part of its goal of exploring value chain solutions. This summer, Axia’s interns include Danielle Cummins, Molly Hemgesberg, Andrew Li and Shantanu Purandare.

Danielle (“Dani”) graduated from Michigan Tech with a degree in Environmental Engineering in 2023 and is continuing her work with Axia this summer. Dani specializes in laboratory testing activities, including evaluating the performance of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagged items, the extraction and characterization of agricultural by-products for waste valorization, and performing Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) research. This summer, she will oversee high school students in a study of over-the-counter medicines with RFID tags. Dani lives in Mt. Pleasant and enjoys going on walks, being on the water, knitting and crocheting.

“I love making science comprehensive, so students can see the relevance of the work we do,” she said. “RFID in healthcare can increase access to the medications people need and improve their quality of life.”

Molly Hemgesberg is a senior majoring in Applied Engineering Sciences at Michigan State University. She will be testing RFID tags on pharmaceutical products and researching Near Field Communications (NFC). Molly lives in Freeland and spends her free time outside, reading and is learning to play pickleball with friends.

“RFID tags on pharmaceutical products make the job of taking inventory in a hospital so much more efficient,” she said. “I’m also learning how tracking pharmaceuticals through the supply chain makes them safer for patients too.”

Andrew Li is a sophomore at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and is leaning toward majoring in MSU #1 rated Supply Chain program. He is helping Axia’s e-leaflet initiative to modernize the distribution of prescription drug information. Andrew lives in Midland and likes exploring all genres of music, cooking, working out, and being with family and friends.

“No matter what company it is, the supply chain is at the foundation,” he said about why he is likely to pursue Supply Chain as a major. “A supply chain can be your connection to success or to your detriment.”

Lastly, Shantanu Purandare graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Michigan State University. His internship will be at the MSU Museum to introduce RFID to the museum during their scheduled infrastructure renovation from June 2024 to Jan. 2026. Potential uses could include wayfinding, visitor information, and connecting interactive information to artifacts. He will also work on building a “RFID Mobile Lab,” portable cases with a variety of programmable RFID tags, readers, and demo kits for formal instruction, informal education and accessibility applications.

Shantanu, who is from Troy, admits he is from a divided household. “I can’t pick a side during football,” he joked. His brother is an alumnus from the “other” university.  Shantanu enjoys basketball, movies and spending time with friends.

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