Lincoln Agritech collaborates with many international universities and every year we accept a handful interns from all over the world. Currently, we are hosting four students from Europe that are here on six month exchanges.
We interview Aurélie Royal (Bordeaux, France), Louise Sarrabezolles (Paris, France), Lukas Feiler (Tulln, Austria) and Emanuel Ott (Tulln, Austria) about their experience working with us and their impressions of New Zealand so far.
[Lincoln Agritech] Hi interns, tell us a little about yourselves and your backgrounds.
[AR] Hi I'm Aurélie, I'm in my final year of my General Engineering Agronomy degree at Bordeaux Sciences Agro; majoring in agricultural landscape management and crop production. Currently, I am in the middle of my work experience year. I spent six months working at IBERS (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) affiliated to Aberystwyth University, Wales; and since February, I have been interning at Lincoln Agritech.
[LS] Bonjour! I'm Louise. I am currently studying General Engineering in Supélec, France. My favourite subjects are informatics and automatic design. After graduation, I plan to do phD studies.
[LF] Hi, I'm Lukas. I study biotechnology and engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Tulln, Austria. I am undertaking part of my final year university project here at Lincoln Agritech. I enjoy microbiology, especially beer brewing!
[EO] Hi, I am Emanuel. I study the same degree as Lukas at the University of Applied Sciences in Tulln, Austria. My biotech engineering degree has taught me a wide variety of subjects including microbiology, genetics and process engineering. I plan to build my work experience here then continue my undergraduate degree when I return to Austria.
[Lincoln Agritech] Are you enjoying your New Zealand lifestyle so far and what sort of work are you doing here?
[AR] At Lincoln Agritech, I work with Jess Roberts and the Precision Agriculture Team. My project here is "GPS mapping". The aim of my project is to create alternative zoning methods for farmers to predict potential yield zones of crops, which will dictate management strategies within a paddock. It is my hope to have this work published.
My experience in New Zealand has been fabulous. I have hiked many of major South Island national parks. On Stewart Island, I even saw a kiwi on the Rakiura Track! Other highlights have been swimming with dolphins and whales in Kaikoura. I have been lucky and have also seen parts of the North Island when I helped Lincoln Agritech with their kiwifruit studies in the Tauranga region.
[LS] So far, I have spent two months at Lincoln Agritech. I'm really enjoying my time here. I work with Dr Adrian Tan and the Sensing Technologies Team and assist them develop a proof of concept antenna and automation system. I really feel part of the team here and love that I can help make improvements on the project to bring their designs to fruition!
Outside of work, I have been busy touring the South Island. The New Zealand South Island landscapes are breathtaking. One highlight is hiking the Copland Track in the West Coast for two days and finishing the walk by relaxing in natural hot pools.
[LF] I work with Dr Richard Weld and the Sensing Technologies Team. My project involves developing biosensors for BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and toxicity sensing. My aims are to refine the existing biosensors to make measurements faster and more accurate.
New Zealand is a beautiful country, especially Queenstown!
[EO] I work within the Sensing Technologies Team alongside Dr Richard Weld. My project involves studying a particular bacterium than can consume electrons and transfer them to a final electron acceptor. This study will contribute to the field of bioremediation; cleaning up the environment by using biological organisms and nature's natural processes. The aim is to use this bacterium and harness its natural abilities to reduce environmental nitrate pollution.
I am enjoying my New Zealand experience and have been lucky to experience both the North and South Islands. There are still many places I want to visit before my internship is over!
[Lincoln Agritech] Where do you see yourself in the future?
[AR & LS] This industry experience has definitely shaped what we would like to do in the future.
[AR] I would love to work in a commercial setting splitting my time between field work trials and office work. I can see myself working in a sector that researches optimisation of crop production and yields.
[LS] This internship has given me a taste of commercial research. I really enjoy it and hope to gain more knowledge by studying towards a phD.
[LF & EO] We are currently gaining practical experience required for our undergraduate degrees. Our university projects here at Lincoln Agritech has so far been very rewarding and enjoyable.
[LF] My biggest interest is to work in the food processing industry or a company like Lincoln Agritech, something agriculture based.
[EO] I'm not sure what I want to do yet! There are so many options. This experience has been rewarding so far; I feel lucky that I can complete my university project here.