Author – NanoCentre PhD Student Lachlan Larsen
From December 1-6 last year, Boston hosted the annual MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit. The MRS is the Materials Research Society, which as the name implies, is an interdisciplinary society of materials researchers of over 16,000 members. The Fall Meeting & Exhibit regularly attracts over 5000 delegates and exhibitors each year, and last year I was lucky enough to attend on a Flinders University Research Student Conference Travel Grant.
This grant offers third and fourth year PhD students the opportunity to present at international conferences by covering their airfares and insurance for the trip. As such, I was able to present a poster on “Cheap Graphene-Silicon Schottky Junctions for Solar Cells” in Symposium GG “Surface/Interface Characterization and Renewable Energy”. I had been to an international conference before (ICONN 2012), but the size of MRS blew me away. My symposium was just one of 51 symposia, spread out over the entire Hynes Convention Centre and the conference rooms of the Sheraton Boston Hostel.
Having access to that kind of exposure to some of the leading minds in materials research was a great experience, as was my poster session where I was able to field questions for a solid three hours. Perhaps the best talk I went to was given by Mildred Dresselhaus, a pioneer in the Raman analysis of carbon nanomaterials (my main research interest) who gave a brief history of her time in the field. Overall, the trip was a great success and gave me a lot of food for thought on my return to Flinders.