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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

Melby Thelakkaden, Travel Grant

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Melby Thelakkaden is a materials science and engineering major and FURI researcher who has been conducting FURI research under the mentorship of Dr. Terry Alford. During Spring 2016, she attended the 2016 Material Research Society Spring Meeting and Exhibit here in Phoenix to present her research poster titled, “Controlled Microwave Processing of Silver Titanium Thin Films for Improved Electrical Properties.” We asked her to give some details of her experience.

In layman terms, what was the conference about?

MRS is a major international stage for the showcasing emerging materials based research.

What motivated you to present at this conference?

I wanted to present my poster and get feedback on the future application of my research.

Tell us about some of the presentation you attended!

One of the most memorable presentations I attended was Advanced Manufacturing Research and Development at the U.S. Department of Energy. It was interesting to learn about the new energy-efficient manufacturing processes that have been researched and can now be applied to our every day lives.

Another presentation I attended was the “Sustainability in My Community”. The posters included topics varying from materials-based technology to how a specific material has become the solution to a problem our society faces today.

What would you say was the best part of the conference?

The best part of the conference was learning about the different research topics that were explored by the other attendees. Ultimately, seeing their presentations inspired me to further my interest in research.

Has your involvement with this conference influenced your research plans?

I plan on hopefully attending the conference next year now that I have a better understanding on what the poster session is going to be like.

Is there anything you wish you knew prior to the conference?

I wish I knew the criteria to the poster contest.

Any suggestions for other students regarding conferences?

I recommend attending as many sessions as you can because they are really informative.

Going to a conference? Have research-related travel needs? Apply for the Undergraduate Research Travel Grant!


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