UVA Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering, like the rest of world, is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in large measure by conducting classes, meetings and as much research as possible online. The Graduate Engineering Student Council’s 16th annual University of Virginia Graduate Engineering Research Symposium is no exception. The symposium, known as UVERS, will go on as planned on April 7, except that it will be conducted through webinars. Details and registration information may be found here.
As in the past, presenters for each UVA Engineering department were selected through a competitive process based on submitted research abstracts. One podium presenter and three poster presenters from each department will compete for prizes ranging in value from $100 to $1,000. Additionally, the posters will be available for viewing April 7-14 in the online poster gallery, and participants and attendees are encouraged to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award here.
Naomi Miyake (left), a Ph.D. student in William Mynn Thornton Professor Robert J. Davis’ catalysis lab, will represent chemE in the podium session, presenting her research, “Understanding the role of Ag and ZrO2 in the catalytic activity of the Ag/ZrO2/SiO2 catalyst for the ethanol to butadiene reactions.”
ChemE students presenting in the poster sessions are:
Beverly Miller (Steven J. Caliari lab): “Addressing a Clinical Need: Tissue Engineering to Improve Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repair”
Devanshi Gupta (Gary Koenig lab): “Analysis of Chemical and Electrochemical Lithiation/Delithiation of a Lithium-Ion Cathode Material”
Prince Verma (Gaurav Giri lab): “Controlling the orientation of NU-1000 crystals”
There also will be a Young Professional Panel comprised mostly of recent Ph.D. alumni, including Zachary Young, a former member of Davis’ lab who now works for Exxon Mobil.
Miyake is the co-academic chair of the Graduate Engineering Student Council with engineering systems and environment Ph.D. student Gail Hayes. The symposium is the biggest event they plan. Its goal is to showcase the outstanding research being done by UVA Engineering graduate students; it’s also an opportunity for students to practice presenting their work.
Miyake said within two days of the University’s decision to move all classes online, she and Hayes went from thinking about canceling the symposium to figuring out how to host it remotely.
“We had already decided finalists and we didn’t want their work to go to waste,” Mikaye said. “Our main concern throughout has been avoiding technical failures. Looking at different platform demos, we discussed how we could move the conference online while maintaining as much of the in-person presentation experience as possible.
“It has been challenging, but we have had so much positive support from the graduate programs office — in particular Amy Clobes — and the participants have been very patient and understanding as we modified the schedule, the format, and what we were requiring of participants throughout the last few weeks.”