Fall 2023 MSE Graduate Student Elevator Talk Competition Winners

By Alec Arbia, Written Communications Assistant

From left to right: Kenneth Looby (3rd place), Phillip Tsurkan (1st place), Chenxin Deng (2nd place), and Bryan Huey (MSE Department Head).

From left to right: Kenneth Looby (3rd place), Phillip Tsurkan (1st place), Chenxin Deng (2nd place), and Bryan Huey (MSE Department Head).

On Friday October 27th all second and third year MSE graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.), gathered in Science 1 to compete in the annual Fall 2023 MSE Graduate Student Elevator Talk Competition.

Each participant delivered a presentation within a strict two-minute time frame accompanied by a maximum of two PowerPoint slides to convey the essential information of their research. Faculty judges assessed and determined the first three winners based on their presentations. The respective prizes awarded were $100, $75, and $50.

Among the twenty-four MSE graduate students who presented their work, Kenneth Looby secured 3rd place with his research titled ‘Effects of Strain Hardening and Alloying on the Strength of Al-Mg-Si Alloys’.”I love that UCONN’s Materials Science & Engineering program provides ample opportunities to build our professional skills,” Looby said. “The elevator pitch is a great way to succinctly summarize and present our research to other scientists and engineers. I enjoyed the challenge of condensing months of research into a short time period.  I believe this skill will help me better prepare for conferences, interviews and other science communication opportunities. I am grateful to be part of a community that values our development as materials scientists and engineers.”

Chenxin Deng earned 2nd place, for his research titled ‘Unraveling Structure-Performance Relationship of Nanoarray Anodes in Water Electrolysis’. Deng described his research as “Altering the structure of nanoarray anodes and test conditions to understand the relationship between electrode structure, electrolyte environment, and the water electrolysis performance.”

Lastly, Phillip Tsurkan won 1st place for his research titled ‘Understanding and Characterization of the Phase Stability and Dynamic Deformation Behavior of Cu-Fe Based Microstructures’. Tsurkan noted, “Investigating material behavior under extreme conditions is very important, but it can be difficult for people unfamiliar with the topic to understand. Being able to communicate research in any field to any audience in an effective way is very difficult, but presentations like these are great practice.”

Published: November 29, 2023

Categories: contest, graduate students, news

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