Graduate Student Symposium showcases broad impacts across academia and industry

Written by
Scott Lyon
Dec. 19, 2022

For the first time in three years, graduate students researching everything from tissue engineering to materials design gathered to share their work at the Princeton CBE Graduate Student Symposium.

The event, held in Bowen Hall on Dec. 9, featured a series of oral and poster presentations focused on the research being conducted by the department's graduate students, two keynote lectures from alumni and a networking fair where organizations from across industry and the Princeton campus made themselves available to discuss opportunities for graduate students.

“The Graduate Student Symposium has a long history in CBE and is a wonderful event,” said department chair Christos Maravelias, the Anderson Family Professor in Energy and the Environment. “It offers a great opportunity for the students to present their research, connect with researchers from across the campus, and network with the industrial participants. I am already looking forward to next year’s symposium!”

Fourth-year Ph.D. students Drew Carson and Madeline Chalifoux organized the event, which registered around 160 attendees from a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines and several companies.

The event featured two keynote speakers. Udit Batra, a 1996 graduate alumnus and president and CEO of Waters Corporation, spoke about his transformative work across the pharmaceutical, consumer health and life-science tools industries. Stephanie Amato Ricci, a 2015 graduate alumna and director of strategic analysis at Regeneron, spoke about the many pathways one might take in an engineering career after earning a Ph.D.

The 15-minute oral presentations, given by fourth-year graduate students, covered a wide range of topics, from persister cells to metal organic frameworks. The poster presentations provided a less structured setting for third-year graduate students to display and discuss their research with attendees.

“We saw remarkable examples of how our students are figuring out new ways to engineer tissues and organs, bacteria and materials systems for applications in energy, environment, sustainability, biotechnology and medicine. And the keynote talks and networking fair highlighted how the training provided by CBE enables our graduates to be leaders not just in academia, but also industry, consulting and government,” said Sujit Data, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering and the Department’s director of graduate studies.

“The event also helped to demonstrate to our younger graduate students how the work they are doing here at Princeton will help define what our field will be, and will be capable of, in the future. As our first keynote speaker Udit Batra said in his talk: ‘What you do matters.’”

Both the oral presentations and the poster presentations were evaluated by panels of judges, with a single winner emerging from each of those two categories. Additionally, students were recognized for awards from throughout the year. Those award winners were:

Best Presentation: Madeline Chalifoux

Best Poster Presentation: Roshan Patel

2022 Layn Award: Brian Choi

2021 Layn Award: Alex Johnson

Jui Dasgupta AI award: Joanna Schneider (Fall ‘21), Drew Carson (Spring ‘22)

2021 SABIC Best First Paper Award: Katelyn Randazzo