Electrochemistry grad students strut their stuff


Above: Some of the participants at the Young Authors Symposium

Graduate students need a chance to strut their stuff and to learn about what else is taking place in their fields of study. It is important for them to come together at inter-university meetings so they can do just that.

The Canadian section of the Electrochemical Society, Inc. (ECS), recognizes this, and now holds “young authors” symposia to give graduate students in the field an opportunity to meet, present and discuss their work, broaden their electrochemical knowledge and gain deeper insight into electrochemical research activities in Canada.

Just such a symposium was held recently at York, organized in part by masters and doctoral students and a postdoctoral fellow from the research group of York’s Canada Research Chair in Physical Chemistry, Sylvie Morin. The Young Authors Symposium focused solely on students’ research activities. As well as participants from York, there were those from the universities of Guelph, Western Ontario and Lakehead. Professors are also invited to attend the meeting, mainly to ask questions during the presentations and give constructive comments.

“Usually students are not experienced enough at the beginning of their studies to present their work in front of large groups of unfamiliar faces, such as at an international meeting,” said Morin. “So the Canadian section of the ECS decided to organize these symposia to give MSc and PhD students in the field of electrochemistry the chance to take the stage and give the presentations that would normally be given by their supervisors.

“In doing so they not only gain experience and confidence but also take ownership of their research. They have to decide what is important and interesting in their work and communicate this information to others.”

The Electrochemical Society is an international nonprofit, educational organization concerned with a broad range of phenomena relating to electrochemical and solid state science and technology. The Society has more than 7,000 scientists and engineers in over 75 countries worldwide who hold individual membership, as well as roughly 100 corporations and laboratories who hold contributing membership.