Throughout March, NETL’s inaugural Powerful Posters series provided the Lab’s research associates in the Professional Internship Program (PIP), Postgraduate Research Program (PGRP), and Faculty Research Program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) with an opportunity to gain valuable research presentation experience.
Powerful Posters allowed participants to display what they learned while researching under their respective NETL mentors currently in a virtual setting due to the pandemic. In addition to displaying their research, the participants got to connect with other NETL researchers, practice summarizing research and presenting it attractively, prepare for future poster sessions and competitions at professional meetings and conferences, and add to their presentation experience. A total of nine research associates presented their Powerful Posters to about 40 NETL researchers and staff.
Among the research associates who participated was Scott Pantaleone, a PGRP participant. Born and raised in Anchorage Alaska, Pantaleone attended the University of Alaska Anchorage. After defending his thesis, he moved to Oregon and started his internship at NETL’s Albany site. Pantaleone’s poster focused on geologic mapping in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Participating in the Powerful Poster series was very valuable,” he said. “Since the pandemic has changed in person conferences to being online, this activity was a great learning experience for future presentations. Sitting down to create and present my current research, gave me the opportunity to organize my thoughts on to paper.”
Born and raised in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Preom Sarkar joined NETL’s PGRP in 2019. She earned her bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Lehigh University, along with a master’s in environmental engineering with a focus in water sustainability from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research presented during the Powerful Poster series focused on biological wastewater treatment specifically for flue gas desulfurization wastewater systems.
“The most valuable aspect of Powerful Posters to me was being able to practice presenting my research to people unfamiliar with microbiology,” she said. “I was able to come up with some palatable analogies that was able to explain some of the technical info that my audience didn’t know. This made me more comfortable in sharing my research and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to present my research.”
Jongwoo Park grew up in Korea and earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Georgia Tech then joined NETL as a post-doctoral associate in the PGRP in January 2020. His specific research area focuses on computational materials chemistry including gas capture/separation and functional gas sensor applications.
“I found that Powerful Posters was a good opportunity to get in touch with experts at NETL, not only as an academic relationship but also a chance to get to know people doing similar areas of research,” Park said. “I found that I will have to be more cautious about presenting the background of research so that audience who are not familiar with specific research can feel more comfortable.”
Robert Tempke, from Blackwood, New Jersey, holds undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering and a master’s in mechanical engineering. Originally a participant in NETL’s PIP, Tempke began his PGRP appointment in 2019 while pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. His poster focused on his research in the synthetic creation of chemistry datasets.
“I think it’s important to get feedback from as many people as you can about your ideas,” he said. “As scientists, we always need the help of others, who offer fresh perspectives and insights. I thought the Powerful Posters Series was a good way to achieve this goal.”
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.