I have been fond of modern technologies for a long time and actively follow the current technological trends in computer engineering and programming. I envision my future job as a software developer of environment friendly and totally recyclable package production, made of spent mushroom substrate also known as mushroom compost. I live in Pennsylvania in Chester County, near Kennett Square, which is also known as a mushroom capital of the world. Bigger part of the USA mushroom production is concentrated in this particular area. There are several mushroom farms around our house, and I see everyday truckloads of spent mushroom compost, which is largely wasted, unfortunately. There are many technologies for its utilization, including usage of spent mushroom compost as fertilizers for agriculture (vegetables production), biogas production, artificial skin, etc. However, one of most modern and promising ones is production various types of package for everyday use. Making of such package needs storage, loading, processing and sterilization facilities, dryers, presses and conveyer type equipment lines with corresponding software support. Essential characteristics of spent mushroom substrate are its density, cellulose content, moisture, pH, salt concentrations, presence of various types of molds and microbes. Additionally, strong odor might be a problem for the use of such packages for household or grocery purchasing purposes, for example. Also, big difference makes what type mushrooms were grown: wood destroying (shiitake, oyster mushrooms) or compost dwellers like white button mushrooms. All these features might affect the characteristics, quality and usage of such type of package.

In my future I would like to focus on the development of controlling computer programs, which will monitor and evaluate such important features of processed material as its moisture, salt content, pH, contamination and odor. I am planning to develop a system, monitoring several lines of sensors in the production halls. After processing the obtained data, the software has to correspondently modifying the temperature of the substrate dryers, the speed of conveyers and pressure of the mechanical pressers along the production line. Part of this system will be the set of special scanners and sensors, easy to use on the belt lines. This system must be flexible taking into account the big variety of all possible package forms, suitable for the production from spent compost. Also, this controlling system will include monitoring of dust, moisture and presence of possible harmful microbes in the production area. To implement my intentions in life, I will need high education level and rich work experience, which means that I try all the methods step by step before starting something large-scale. After completing my studies, I would like to start working in some large package producing companies like Tetra Laval, West Rock or Dura-Pack as a hard- and software engineer to get sufficient experience and skills. When I will be experienced enough, I am planning to open my own business. It will be a company, which will develop the software for spent mushroom compost use in manufacturing of various types of packaging materials and forms. Also, will need to assemble a team of good specialists able to develop such software and bring them to life. This will require development of my leadership skills.

Essay by: Maksym Abramiuk
Oxford Area High School

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