A Great Opportunity

Martin Perkins

13th May 2015

DHS-GC-MS, Dynamic Headspace, Internship, Mailie Saint-Hilaire, Multi-Volatile Method, MVM, Paris-Sud University, Sample Preparation, staff, team,

I am the second student from the Master’s degree in Instrumentation and Analytical Chemistry of Paris-Sud University to be offered the great opportunity to work at Element as an intern.

We all know how hard it is to find an internship, especially in a foreign country for a young student like me. So how did I do?  Thanks to Mr David Benanou of Veolia Water, who is a friend of the Element team and still in contact with my teachers, I got the possibility to do my internship here. It shows how important networking is!

Element is a really good place for me to do my last internship because I can work with a talented team, who have years of experience in different domains. Not only do I develop my skills in instrumentation (GC-MS) and sample preparation, but also in communication and computer science! What more can you ask for?

One of the charms of Element is the sample preparation. Indeed, because of the flexibility of the GERSTEL equipment there are many parameters to optimise so you have to be imaginative to develop your method! This is really interesting!

During my six-month internship, I have to develop the Multi-Volatile Method (MVM) by Dynamic Headspace Sampling and Gas Chromatography coupled by Mass Spectrometry (DHS-GC-MS) on alternative matrices. This brand new method from GERSTEL KK in Japan enables the extraction of all the volatiles and semi-volatiles compounds from the matrix. You can read the paper below to learn more about the MVM method.

N. Ochiai , J. Tsunokawa, K. Sasamoto, A. Hoffmann; Journal of Chromatography A, 1371 (2014) 65-73

Thanks to the desorption of three adsorbents, we will obtain all the compounds on a single chromatogram, and the development will be considered as a success. It’s a challenge for me and I feel very lucky to work on this method.

To conclude, I am very happy to be part of Element. I am also happy to improve my English level: before starting, I had some apprehension about my English, but in the end, everybody is very kind and helpful. I’ve learnt it is possible to sort everything out with basic words, and at the end of my internship, I’m sure that I will gain much more self-confidence.