Graduate research grows with student symposium

2017 FEGRS organizers (left to right): Andres Castillo, Runzhi Xu, Anyeld Ubeda, Maliheh Soleimani, and Ryan Chee.

(EDMONTON) Entering its eighth year, the annual Faculty of Engineering Graduate Research Symposium (FEGRS), an initiative to develop skills for careers in engineering, is shaping up to be another successful event for academia- and industry-oriented students.

The symposium is a great opportunity for students to present their research, develop communication skills, prepare themselves for future careers, and get recognized through awards,” said Ryan Chee, a fourth-year PhD student in electrical and computer engineering and the symposium president. The event is run by graduate students across the Faculty of Engineering.

This year, the goals of FEGRS exceed the advancement of student professional and academic success and address social issues, such as the promotion of engineering sustainability and advancement of women in STEM fields.

“We wanted to organize more than just a research symposium. It’s the first time we partnered with WISER (Women in Science, Engineering, and Research), and applied for a sustainability certification,” added Chee.

Unlike previous graduate conferences, this year the organizing committee will recognize student sustainability-themed projects and ignite discussions about sustainable engineering practices. 

"Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for energy companies and the industry in general,” said Anyeld Ubeda, first-year master's student in biomedical engineering and one of the event organizers.

Ranging from time management to entrepreneurship, and work search strategies to networking, all FEGRS workshops count toward professional development hours for engineering students. A bonus? The events are free.

The symposium is running June 27-28, and the organizing committee is encouraging undergraduate and graduate students to submit abstracts for poster and/or oral presentations, as well as register for the research elevator pitch competition.

Both days of the symposium promise to bring a lot of value to students interested in sharing research ideas, upping their job search game, flexing public speaking muscles, and rubbing shoulders with industry representatives. 

Submit an abstract for a poster or oral presentation.

Register for the research elevator pitch.

SYMPOSIUM DETAILS

JUNE 27
Symposium registration and breakfast
9 – 10:30 a.m., ETLC Solarium Join the FEGRS kick-off breakfast and celebrate student research sponsors: coffee and snacks.

Our keynote speaker, Ying Tsui, the Faculty of Engineering Associate Dean of Research and Internationalization, will open the event.

Poster session #1
10:30 – 11:30 a.m., hallway Submit an abstract for a poster presentation for a chance to showcase your research. The participating posters will be evaluated by judges based on how well they explain a research project, their originality and design. Winners will be awarded prizes. Sustainability-related research posters will qualify for a sustainability prize.   

Time management and industry workshop
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., ETLC 1-003 Join a Faculty of Engineering alumnus and a senior engineer at Mammoet Josh Van Fossen, Mechanical ’08, for a talk on developing efficient time management skills.

Elevator pitch round 1
12:30 – 2 p.m., ETLC 1-001 Can you compress years of reading and research to just three minutes? Challenge yourself to communicate your project to a general audience in a concise and engaging fashion that sparks their interest. Register here for the first round of the competition.

Permanent residency for international students
2 – 3 p.m., ETLC 1-003 Facilitated by the U of A International Student Services, this session will explore some paths international students take to become permanent residents of Canada, and addresses some of the most frequently asked questions.

Entrepreneurship workshop
3 – 4 p.m., ETLC 1-007 Explore opportunities lying at the intersection between engineering and entrepreneurship from the U of A’s executive professor in innovation and entrepreneurship Tony Briggs. Learn how to translate research into a business idea, deliver efficient business pitches, and explore entrepreneurship resources on campus and beyond.

Resume building, job search, and interview skills workshop
4 – 5 p.m., ETLC 1-007 Developed by the U of A Career Centre, the workshop will explore most effective job search strategies for engineering students, go over what makes a resumé stand out, and discuss some tricks to ace a job interview.

Industrial mixer
5 – 7 p.m., ETLC Solarium At the industry mixer, join keynote speaker Kevin Ilcisin (Electrical ’86), a vice president of product marketing at the National Instruments. Participate in a panel discussion and network with young and senior professionals.

JUNE 28
Registration
9 a.m., ETLC Solarium Register for workshops and submit abstracts for presentations to develop public speaking skills and make the most of your student experience.

Oral presentation session #1
9 – 10 a.m., ETLC 1-001, ETLC 1-007, NREF 2-003 Submit an abstract to give a 10-minute presentation about your project. Bounce research ideas off your peers and get valuable feedback. One of the sessions will be dedicated to engineering sustainability.

Intellectual property workshop
10 – 11 a.m., ETLC 1-001 Join the U of A legal counsel Francisco Marquez-Stricker in navigating the world of patenting an invention. Often perceived as a complex and time-consuming process, registering a patent is often how engineers make their ideas happen.

Oral presentation session #2
11 a.m. – 12 p.m., ETLC 1-001, ETLC 1-007, NREF 2-003 Submit an abstract to give a 10-minute presentation about your project. Bounce research ideas off your peers and get valuable feedback. On of the sessions will be dedicated to engineering sustainability.

Lunch
12 – 2 p.m., ETLC Solarium Swing by for lunch to fuel up for the activity-packed afternoon.  

Poster session #2
1 – 2 p.m., hallway Submit an abstract for a poster presentation for a chance to showcase your research to fellow students, professors, and industry. The participating posters will be evaluated by judges based on how well they explain a research project, their originality, and design. Winners will be awarded prizes. Sustainability-related research posters will qualify for a sustainability prize.   

Elevator pitch finals
2 – 3 p.m., ETLC 1-001 Made it to the finals? Compete for the grand prize, or stop by to show some support to your favourite candidate. Elevator pitch participants will be evaluated based on the effectiveness and clarity of their research pitches.

Oral presentation session #3
3 – 4 p.m., ETLC 1-001, ETLC 1-007, NREF 2-003 Submit an abstract to give a 10-minute presentation about your project. Bounce research ideas off your peers and get valuable feedback. One of the sessions will be dedicated to engineering sustainability.

Networking for career development workshop
4 – 5 p.m., ETLC 1-007 Join Shoma Sinha, the founder of WISER and president of Alberta Women's Science Network (AWSN) to learn about efficient networking for engineers and establish some meaningful connections. The workshop will focus on building a professional network.

Awards dinner and keynote speaker
5 – 9 p.m., Donadeo ICE, Fred Pheasey It’s a wrap! Come out to celebrate another successful symposium with the event sponsors and the organizing committee. Our special guest, Shoma Sinha, the founder of WISER and president of Alberta Women's Science Network (AWSN), will help you explore career opportunities for women in STEM fields. Awards ceremony follows.