Rachael Mebs

Biomedical Engineering, 3rd-year undergraduate student

A woman wearing a Lallemand lab coat and a mask stands in a room full of yeast processing equipment.
Rachael Mebs at work in the Lallemand lab in Montreal.

Born and raised in Victoria, Rachael Mebs knew she wanted to stay close to home for her studies. But the UVic biomedical engineering student jumped at the chance to experience a new city as part of her co-op work.

Mebs is working on an eight-month co-op term as a yeast processing lab assistant at Lallemand Inc. in Montreal. Her job involves operating a bioreactor to grow yeast, using equipment such as a spray-dryer, filter press, and extruder to treat the yeast. She’s learned lab techniques such as autoclaving, starting propagations in a reactor, separating, drying, and doing dry weights and cell counts.

“I really like the job because every day is different and I get to work on so many different projects,” says Mebs, who received a Strategic Framework Experiential Learning Fund (SF-ELF) award from UVic.

Travelling to Montreal, Mebs was able to experience life in a new city. She loved taking time to explore and hunt down unique cafes during her down time. Working with five other co-op students, she was excited to have the chance to collaborate with others her age and form long-lasting friendships.

Working in the lab at Lallemand has helped Mebs put her studies into practice. At the same time, she’s honed her problem-solving and time management skills while working on numerous projects.

“There were a lot of details that went into each step of the projects, so it was important to be able to backtrack and figure out where the problem was if something went wrong,” she says.

After completing her degree, she plans to stay in Victoria pursuing a career in lab research.

“I was interested in medicine, but would not want to be at the forefront of it, and I’m fascinated by some of the projects that biomedical engineers have done,” says Mebs.

“This co-op gave me some great experience and confirmed the fact that I want to work in a hands-on lab environment.”

By Katy DeCoste

2022Mar15 AT

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