Materials Science and Engineering major in the Barrett Honors College Nolan Walker attended the Microscopy and Microanalysis Conference in Portland, Oregon. The conference was held to present and discuss the latest advancements in electron and light microscopy. Nolan has been working under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Crozier and attended the conference to present his research titled “Analysis of Surface Structures in Ruthenium Nanocatalysts.”
Nolan was eager to attend the conference because he feels that presenting research in a professional and academically rigorous environment is a rewarding experience to have.
“I wanted to give weight to the work I was doing at ASU,” he explained.
In addition to sharing his own research, Nolan also had the opportunity to expand his knowledge in his field by attending different seminars and presentations. One presentation showcased the conversion of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to the scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), a more advanced and economically efficient device. The conference wasn’t all work and no play, though. TEM manufacturing company FEI threw a party for attendees that included two live bands, five free food trucks, and two free beer and wine stands. Nolan says this was his favorite part because it provided a casual setting for networking, talking, and dancing.
The Microscopy and Microanalysis conference was a rewarding experience for Nolan. There were many opportunities for learning and growth, and it even presented Nolan with challenges he hadn’t anticipated.
“Even as a talkative person, I had trouble connecting during the hectic and cramped timetable,” he recalls.
Overall, the conference allowed him to see beyond the scope of his own work and lab and realize how he fit into the bigger picture.
He tells prospective conference-goers to “just do it!” Any experience in the professional world will be a useful one.
Going to a conference? Have research-related travel needs? Apply for the Undergraduate Research Travel Grant!