Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Raising the Profile of Undergrad Research

Mechanical engineering student Emilio Molina was invited to attend TECHCON 2014 based on his research he conducted as a participant in Maseeh College's Undergraduate and Research Mentoring Program
Four undergraduate students from PSU were among the 250 undergraduate and graduate students invited to join the nation’s top semiconductor scholars and industry leaders to share their research at the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s (SRC) 16th annual TECHCON conference held Sept. 7-9 in Austin, Texas. 
The conference showcases the forefront of semiconductor research, bringing together university students from a variety of science and engineering majors, scholars and leaders from the semiconductor industry to explore cutting-edge silicon-based research while networking with other students and professionals. More than 436 attendees participated in the 2014 conference.
Their attendance was made possible through the support of Intel Corporation and SRC Education Alliance:
  • Emilio Molina, a mechanical engineering major, presented “Using a Novel Solar Powered Continuous Flow Water Purification System for Degradation of Organic Pollutants”
  • Esteban Rodriguez-Ariza, a chemistry major, presented “Synthesis of Semi-Conducting Photocatalysts for a Novel Water Purification System”
  • Physics student Alex Jacobson and mechanical engineering student Adrian Lahsene where each invited to observe
  • Dr. Christof Teuscher, electrical and computer engineering professor and director of PSU’s Undergraduate Research and Mentoring Program (URMP), also attended and participated in a panel discussion
The papers selected for presentation at TECHCON represent a summary of the best research in SRC’s portfolio across all of the organization’s research programs. Undergraduates in attendance were selected through a rigorous and competitive process including the submission of an abstract of a research project for review by an SRC-coordinated committee.
All students from PSU’s contingent participated in the URMP offered by the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science.  The program funds paid undergraduate research opportunities for students majoring in all Maseeh College undergraduate disciplines: civil engineering, computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering with additional opportunities for students majoring in chemistry and physics.
"I've been to many conferences throughout my career, yet, I've never seen such a high number of outstanding student presentations as I've seen at TECHCON. It was very impressive to see how well students were prepared, how passionate they were about their research, and how competent they were in answering questions,” remarked Dr. Teuchser. “Another unique aspect of TECHCON is the presence of SRC companies. Several career workshops as well as a big career fair allowed students to gain valuable interview experience."

The Undergraduate Research and Mentoring Program is currently accepting applications for 2014-15. The deadline to apply is October 12, 2014. For more information please visit
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