Student-led conference charts the future of micro- and nanoscale research,

Snowshoeing and microelectronics aren’t usually talked about collectively in the identical sentence, however on the Microsystems Annual Research Conference (MARC), winter actions, technical talks, and poster periods all mix for a two-day flurry of analysis celebrations.

Returning to the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire on Jan. 24-25 for the primary time since earlier than the pandemic, MARC gathered over 240 MIT college students, school, employees, and trade companions to chart the way forward for microsystems and nanotechnology. Now in its nineteenth 12 months, the student-run convention is organized by the Microsystems Know-how Laboratories (MTL) and, since 2020, co-sponsored collectively with MIT.nano.

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In a letter to attendees, MIT Division of Electrical Engineering and Pc Science (EECS) graduate pupil co-chairs Maitreyi Ashok and Jennifer Wang laid out the targets of the convention: “to have fun the scientific and technical achievements of the previous 12 months, to revisit and redefine our roles as researchers in ever-shifting sociopolitical contexts, and to acknowledge the valuable and resilient group that we’ve got constructed and maintained collectively.”

The theme for MARC 2023 was metamorphosis to a brand new period of modern microsystems. “We wished to replicate the continued transition of instruments from MTL to MIT.nano, in addition to nationwide and worldwide developments within the microsystems group following the current world chip scarcity and passing of the CHIPS and Science Act,” defined Wang, a third-year graduate pupil in Assistant Professor Kevin O’Brien’s Quantum Coherent Electronics group. “This theme symbolizes change, development, and a renewed vitality in our analysis targets.”

Along with Ashok and Wang, the core planning group included MTL graduate college students Will Banner, Adina Bechhofer, and Patricia Jastrzebska-Excellent, all from EECS, in addition to Narumi Wong of the Division of Chemical Engineering (ChemE) and Duhan Zhang of the Division of Supplies Science and Engineering (DMSE).

“The planning of MARC really wouldn’t have been attainable with out the assist of the coed committee, employees, and MTL and MIT.nano administrators,” mentioned Ashok, a fourth-year PhD candidate within the Power-Environment friendly Circuits and Methods group, led by Dean of Engineering and EECS Professor Anantha Chandrakasan. “Because of the efforts of our committee, we successfully built-in classes and instruments from the previous two digital MARCs with an in-person expertise. We had been thrilled to have the ability to facilitate face-to-face conferences between college students and trade companions from the MTL Microsystems Business Group and MIT.nano Member Advisory Panel, in addition to convey again winter actions.”

The return to the Omni Mount Washington additionally introduced the return of in-person poster periods. The coed committee recruited over 100 college students to submit abstracts from 40 completely different analysis teams, probably the most teams ever represented at MARC.

“You’re the rock stars”

“You ought to be able to make historical past,” mentioned Tomás Palacios, director of MTL and professor {of electrical} engineering, in his opening remarks. “We’re at a tremendous time within the historical past of semiconductors and microelectronics. You’re the rock stars of the subsequent 25 years of know-how.”

This enthusiasm and eye towards the long run continued with the opening keynote by Eileen Tanghal ’97, founder and common accomplice of Black Opal Ventures. Tanghal spoke about her profession path since graduating from MIT with a bachelor’s diploma in EECS and provided recommendation to present college students: “Discover your ‘nerd posse,’” “take a threat early in life,” “search for inelastic demand,” and “it’s OK to take a break,” amongst others.

She shared her experiences working for a startup after which as a enterprise capitalist whereas additionally elevating a household. In closing, she got here full circle again to MIT, explaining that she began Black Opal with a bunch of undergraduate classmates — all ladies — to spend money on startups on the intersection of well being and know-how. “You will notice, in 25 years,” she mentioned. “You should give you this nerd posse that can assist you many years into your future.”

The way forward for the semiconductor trade

The second day opened with a technical keynote from Ann Kelleher, government vice chairman and common supervisor of know-how improvement at Intel, who targeted on the evolution of Moore’s Regulation. “We’ve simply handed the seventy fifth 12 months of the transistor,” mentioned Kelleher. “Six generations have labored within the semiconductor trade. You’re the subsequent technology. The way forward for the semiconductor and the innovation that’s wanted to maintain it shifting ahead on the similar tempo is in your palms.”

Each Kelleher and Tanghal spoke in regards to the significance of scale — with the ability to go from one to many when making a product, and what that can require. “It’s one factor to make one among them. That’s proof of idea. It’s an entire completely different factor to make thousands and thousands of them,” emphasised Kelleher.

Then it was the MIT college students’ and postdocs’ flip to showcase their work and visions for the long run. Two poster periods had been divided into eight areas: digital gadgets, built-in circuits, medical gadgets and biotechnology, energy, supplies and manufacturing, nanotechnology and nanomaterials, optics and photonics, and quantum applied sciences. Every class was fastidiously curated by one among eight MTL graduate pupil session chairs: Aya Amer, Mansi Joisher, Milica Notaros, Kaidong Peng, Beth Whittier, Matthew Yeung, Abigail Zhien Wang, and Jiadi Zhu.

Earlier than the periods kicked off, the researchers delivered 60-second lightning talks. Attendees voted for his or her favourite, and greatest pitches had been awarded to postdocs Saurabh Nath (MechE) and Roberto Rodriguez-Moncayo (EECS), and graduate college students David Morales Loro (EECS) and Hanrui Wang (EECS).

“The workforce of graduate pupil organizers has as soon as once more delivered a improbable convention,” mentioned MIT.nano Director Vladimir Bulović, the Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Rising Know-how. “I’m impressed by the scope of actions MARC 2023 highlighted, the potential influence of the analysis described, and the professionalism of the coed presenters. MARC conferences permit us to see into the long run, as envisioned by the subsequent technology of inventors.  Yearly it’s a exceptional expertise.”

MARC 2023 was held along side the QSEC Annual Analysis Convention, which came about on Jan. 23 and 24, additionally at Bretton Woods. MIT college students and school, in addition to trade associates, had been inspired to attend each occasions and expertise a breadth of analysis and engineering in supplies, buildings, gadgets, circuits, and techniques.


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