MSE Students Recognized at EMA 2020

By Ben Crnic

Ayana Ghosh (right) and Lucas Enright (left) with Lucas’ speaking award (made out of Corning glass, as Corning Inc. is the award sponsor) against the background of Ayana’s poster.

Two MSE students, Ayana Ghosh and Lucas Enright, won awards at the 11th annual Electronic Materials and Applications (EMA) Conference. The conference was organized by Electronics and Basic Science Divisions of the American Ceramic Society and was held in Orlando, FL at the end of January 2020. Ghosh, a graduate student, was awarded Best Poster for her research on organic ferroelectrics, and Enright, a senior, was recognized as the Best Student Speaker for his talk in the session devoted to 5G telecommunications.

Both Ghosh and Enright attended the conference as part of a larger group of UConn MSE students, and were accompanied by MSE faculty including Associate Professor Serge M. Nakhmanson (Ghosh’s Ph.D. advisor) and MSE Department Head Bryan Huey.

Ghosh’s winning poster was dedicated to designing novel organic ferroelectrics. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms governing the emergence of ferroelectricity in these materials. She uses machine learning and data-driven approaches both to search for potential novel organic ferroelectrics and to establish design principles for achieving new functionalities.

“I try my best to understand what type of information is the most important/suitable to share during poster presentations that would engage the listeners and stir interest surrounding my research,” said Ghosh.

Meanwhile, Enright’s award-winning talk was on a project he conducted on the measurement of dielectric properties of ceramics at low-millimeter (W-band) frequencies. Originally, his research investigated heating in these materials occurring during the absorption of millimeter waves, but the focus was later shifted to applications in 5G technologies.

Enright’s research was conducted in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was an intern during the summer of 2019.

On winning the Best Student Speaker Award, Enright says “I am honored and flattered. It is really touching to be so well accepted by what seems to be a close-knit technical community who have been extremely welcoming and helpful.”

Associate Professor Nakhmanson says “I am delighted by how well our students represent UConn and the MSE department at the annual EMA conferences, which are increasingly becoming a premier international venue for cutting-edge research in ceramics. We go to that conference in numbers pretty much every year and have been fortunate to receive some awards before. However, I consider this visit especially successful, bringing home the best poster award, as well as a special award received by an undergraduate student. This sort of peer recognition clearly shows that UConn MSE is a good place to get your graduate or undergraduate degree in materials science.”

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