by Dr. Deepnarayan Gupta, Executive Vice President, RF Circuits and Systems, HYPRES Inc., email@example.comThe Applied Superconductivity Conference’s Best Student Paper Contest recognizes outstanding presentations made at ASC by full-time students.
The ability to describe one’s research, by succinctly capturing key results and ideas in written form as well as by presenting and defending the work in front of an audience of experts, is an extremely useful skill for professional researchers. The contest format was created to encourage students to perform high quality research and present their work in a competitive environment.
Selected finalists, up to six in each category, presented their work in front of judges in three parallel oral sessions at a specially arranged session at the conference. Each finalist was given 15 minutes for the presentation and five minutes to answer questions from the panel and the audience. Three winners were selected in each of the three categories: Large Scale, Materials and Electronics. The first, second, and third prizes in each of the three categories included a respective $750, $500 and $250 award sponsored by the IEEE Council on Superconductivity.
There were also three corporate prizes. JSC TVEL and JSC VNIINM Bochvar sponsored the $500 Alexander Shikov Memorial Prize for the best paper in the LTS and HTS Conductors subcategories. The Friends of Victor Keilin sponsored two $500 Victor Keilin Memorial Prizes, one for best paper on development of superconducting materials for large scale applications in the Materials category and another on innovations in magnet science and technology in the Large Scale category.
The competition was particularly intense in the Materials category, which accounted for nearly half of the overall contest entries. Charlie Sanabria and Christopher Segal tied for first place in both the Materials category and the Victor Keilin Memorial Prize.
“I see the student contest as a way to improve myself, instead of as a way of proving my skills to others,” says Sanabria. “When I design my presentations I’m always thinking of that disinterested, bored and half asleep person who is there just because they have to be. If that person leaves the room thinking they learnt something, then I’m a happy scientist.”
Both Sanabria and Segal had previously won the 2014 ASC Student Paper contest and are each pursuing doctoral research at the Applied Superconductivity Center at Florida State University with Prof. David Larbalestier. Mayaluna Lao of TU Wien, Austria, won the third prize in Materials.
“I love my work and was very honored,” says Segal. “It feels great that a professional organization like IEEE not only encourages students to present their findings to a broader audience, but then recognizes them for their excellent work.”
Peng Chen, of Florida State University, won first prize in the Large Scale category and Peter Cheetham, who is pursuing his PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, won second prize.
“I am very pleased and humbled that my work on a Bi-2212 superconducting joint was recognized by the applied superconductivity community,” says Chen. “It is a great encouragement for my future career in this field.”
Cheetham also won the Victor Keilin Memorial Prize for the best paper on innovations in magnet science and technology. And Lei Wang, of the Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, won third prize.
Shirin Montazeri from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst won first prize in Electronics, while the second and third prizes respectively went to Ethan Cho of the University of California, San Diego and Haruka Muramatsu of the University of Tokyo. Meysam Heydari Gharacheshmeh of the University of Houston won the Alexander Shikov Memorial Prize.