College's 10th annual Graduate Engineering Research Showcase Oct. 20

Published: Oct 3, 2022 9:00 AM

By Joe McAdory

Mackenzie Woods is eager to share her research with peers, faculty and industry professionals.

Woods, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in chemical engineering and approximately 200 other engineering graduate students, will have that opportunity on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the college’s 10th Graduate Engineering Research Showcase (GERS), presented by the Council of Engineering Graduate Students (CEGS).

“It's very easy for graduate students to get caught up in their work, so having an event like this is a great way to see the successes of our peers,” said Woods, whose poster presentation is titled “Understanding the Effects of Sheet Size and Salt Addition on Aqueous MXene Dispersions.”

“Much time and work go into research, so it's exciting when I get to discuss what I've learned and discovered,” she added. “I really enjoy learning about other scientific advances that are being made on campus around me, and it's an honor to contribute.”

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Poster presentations will be from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Brown-Kopel Center’s Grand Hall, with an awards banquet and recognition at 6:30 p.m.

“This is our group’s main event every year and what makes it special is having the opportunity to bring graduate students together from a variety of engineering disciplines,” said CEGS President Matthew Garnett, a third-year doctoral student in chemical engineering. “This event provides us the chance to interact with graduate students who we might not meet during other times throughout the year. Not only do graduate students across different engineering disciplines interact and network with one another, but it’s a great chance to show off to faculty, staff, alumni and peers, what research they are doing. This is the perfect arena to learn from one another.”

Judging parameters will remain the same as prior years, Garnett said, except industry professionals and alumni will join a team of faculty scoring the student researchers.

“This group will give our students the opportunity to showcase their research to professionals off-campus, which could possibly lead to career connections down the road,” Garnett said.

GERS began 10 years ago when Brian Thurow, then an assistant professor in aerospace engineering and now the department chair, volunteered to serve as the college’s Graduate Recruitment and Fellowship Committee chair recognized the need for students to exchange ideas.

“We knew there was a great deal of strong research taking place in different academic departments within the college back then, but there was no structured forum for students to exchange ideas,” he said. “A graduate student could be here for five to six years working on a doctorate, but not have an opportunity to see what others are doing. We wanted to create an event for that, and this generated a lot of excitement and people appreciated it.”

Woods said showcases such as this provide graduate students an excellent avenue to build confidence when presenting their respective research.

“Discussing research that you have put so much time and effort into can be a bit daunting, so being surrounded by your peers who are in your same situation is a great way to become more comfortable with this,” she said. “Gaining experience and confidence in showcases like GERS helps graduate students become both stronger presenters and researchers as they continue in their academic careers.”

For more information about participating as a student presenter or judge, contact Matthew Garnett at or

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Students from all engineering disciplines will make research poster presentations before peers and judges.

Students from all engineering disciplines will make research poster presentations before peers and judges.

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