Erin Vinnedge – Graduate Update

Erin Vinnedge is a December, 2009, graduate from Simpson College.  She majored in honors mathematics and economics with a minor in chemistry.  After a year and a half in the banking industry, she decided to further her education.  She is currently in her third year of law school at the University of Montana School of Law and is in her last year at the University of Montana School of Business Administration.  She will graduate in May 2014 with a joint JD/MBA degree.

Currently, she is an intern at Clearas Water Recovery based out of Missoula, Montana.  Clearas is a company that is in the new stages of its business life.  The company is a green water filtration technology business with green by-products.  Clearas concentrates on removing nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from point source discharges such as wastewater treatment facilities.  It is a bolt-on technology that mixes algae with waste streams, facilitates the photosynthesis of algae, then separates the algae from the water.  In the process of the photosynthesis, the algae naturally absorbs the excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the water.  The algae by-product can be utilized for biofuels, bioplastics and natural fertilizers.

At Clearas, Erin is involved in the market segmentation, the technology and operations.  She is able to use her legal training to research EPA regulations and citizens lawsuits and convert that into a market segmentation analysis to find the water bodies that are in the greatest need for nitrogen and phosphorus removal.  Additionally, she has created experimental designs and performed trials, optimizing variables to make the technology more effective and efficient.  Lastly, she is helping to streamline the operations department from the scope of work to project proposals.  Erin hopes to use her experiences and education to continue to grow start-up companies after graduation.

***If you graduated from Simpson College with a mathematics, honor in mathematics, or actuarial science degree and would like to write an graduate update for this blog, send it (along with a current picture) to debra.czarneski@simpson.edu.  I would happy to post it.***

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