BIU-WIS Material Research Society (MRS) Chapter Hosts First Annual Conference

A new partnership between graduate students from Bar-Ilan and the Weizmann Institute is helping to strengthen materials science collaboration – both within academia and with industry – from the bottom up.

On October 29th, 90 Masters and PhD candidates from both institutions gathered at BINA for the first-ever conference organized by Israel’s newest chapter of the Materials Research Society – an international organization that promotes innovation and professional advancement in materials science research.  The joint BIU-WIS chapter, which was founded just one year ago, is led by a student committee, under the guidance of faculty advisors Prof. Igor Lubomirsky of the Weizmann Institute, and one of BINA’s 2014 faculty recruits, Dr. Hagay Shpaisman.

The conference gave outstanding students an opportunity to share their original research.  Out of a large number of applicants, the student committee – led by chapter President Ronen Gottesman and Treasurer Hannah-Noa Barad, both of BIU – chose 12 student lecturers and 24 poster presentations.  Keynote speakers were Dr. David Zitoun of BINA – who discussed his work on materials for nano-energy applications – and WIS’ Prof. Ernesto Joselevich whose lecture focused on guided nanowires for “self-integrated” nanosystems.

Students also heard short lectures by industrial leaders. In addition to informing students about opportunities in materials science, these presentations – given by representatives of Rafael, Elbit, Applied Materials, KiloLambda and Stratasys – gave visiting professionals a chance to network with Bar-Ilan and Weizmann students, and identify future employees.

The organizers – who did everything from raising funds, to lining up faculty judges for the presentation selection committee– received excellent feedback, and there are plans to make this an annual chapter event.

“Events like these are important, both for students who are planning to continue on to post-doctoral research, and for students aiming for materials science-related careers in industry,” says chapter President Gottesman. “Based on the high level of student presentations this year, I think that the BIU-WIS conference will make a real contribution.”

This article was orignally published in the BINA Newsletter No. 3 - March 2015