Student Profile: Maddy Wehrle

Maddy Wehrle assists the Lab Operations team at the Composites Center
Maddy Wehrle assists the Lab Operations team at the Composites Center

Maintaining a 100,000 ft2 ISO accredited testing laboratory is no small task. Maddy Wehrle, a third year Bioengineering Major from Wiscasset, Maine, is an undergraduate student administrative aide assisting laboratory operation staff at the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The Lab Operations team is led by staff members Russell Edgar, Chris Urquhart, and Tom Perkins.

Wehrle has worked as a student employee for the UMaine Composites Center since October 2013.

“When I was first hired, I started as a general cleaner,” Wehrle said, “I cleaned for a day. My boss at the time asked if I wanted to help with laboratory operations. I said “sure.’”

Since joining the lab operations team, Wehrle has tackled numerous tasks, such as maintaining the equipment and chemical databases, scheduling and cataloguing training sessions for new employees, and even attending planning meetings for the Center’s current building expansion. Her latest project is working with Center IT staff to transfer the lab operation databases to the Center’s new internal website.

“I work with pretty much everyone here,” Wehrle said on her wide variety of tasks. “I love that the people here are good people. Everyone’s funny and able to get things done. We’re all part of one big team.”

According to Wehrle, working with a variety of tasks and people has provided her with valuable experiences which will undoubtedly help with future employment.

“I’ve learned about many aspects of running a large organization, a lot about how to structure projects to succeed.”

Wehrle eventually plans to put her Bioengineering experience towards researching the technical implications of immunology and vaccines.

“The testing we do here is similar to the procedures I would use in Bioengineering,” Wehrle said on the practicality of a research position. “This is a pretty phenomenal place to work in order to get the skills most people don’t get in class.”