[Image above] PowerPoint Karaoke participants and attendees at MCARE-EHS 2021. Winners are indicated by ribbons. Credit: Eva Hemmer
By Alessandro De Zanet and Rishabh Kundu
This year, the Materials Challenges in Alternative & Renewable Energy 2021 (MCARE 2021) combined with the 4th Annual Energy Harvesting Society Meeting (EHS 2021) took place virtually July 19–22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alessandro De Zanet and Rishabh Kundu, two ACerS student members, attended the event. This CTT is a contributed post describing their experience at the conference during the last two days. Another contributed post published last Friday described the first two days.
Day 3: First edition of MCARE PowerPoint Karaoke
The first edition of MCARE PowerPoint Karaoke kicked off on Day 3. This student-led event was organized by Anja Sutorius, Khan Le, and us under the guidance of Eva Hemmer. ACerS director of meetings and marketing Andrea Ross helped in managing the technical aspects of the event.
PowerPoint Karaoke helps people improve their freestyle presentation skills by asking them to present a single slide prepared by someone else in 1–2 minutes.
The event was open to everyone, and it was possible to participate as slide creators and/or presenters. Each slide was assigned to a presenter, who had few minutes to become familiar with it before presenting. Between presentations, Rishabh entertained the participants as host.
After all the presentations were delivered, it was time for voting—it was challenging to identify a winner among all the excellent presentations and slides! The list of winners can be found here.
Kudos to all the participants for their bravery and for the creativity they expressed while improvising a presentation and in designing the slides. Feedback from the participants was very positive, and we hope that this event format will find a place in other conferences.
One of the funniest episodes of the event was when the host caught MCARE organizing co-chairs Sanjay Mathur and Eva Hemmer by surprise with a request to present a slide as well. They gifted the audience with an impressive impromptu performance.
After the PowerPoint Karaoke, Mathur, as session chair, introduced Day 3 keynote speaker Eva Unger, Young Investigator Group Leader at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Unger delivered an outstanding and insightful talk entitled “Hybrid perovskite—materials formation and scaling.” Unger provided an introduction on metal-halide perovskites and then presented the research work that her group is carrying out.
In the Q&A session following her presentation, we asked Unger how young researchers can conduct research that leads to commercialization. She offered meaningful bits of advice, including you should not promise anything you cannot actually achieve—be honest about the possible impact of what you are researching. Also, be sure to engage your community throughout the development process to help you determine what impact your research may have on society.
Unger gave us insights on work-life balance as well. She said that research is very frustrating and uncertain at times, and so it is vital to find a topic that motivates you and makes you enthusiastic. If you do not feel this push toward research, you may want to consider other jobs that can guarantee more stability and more time for your private life.
After the plenary talk, the symposiums took place. Along the lines of Day 1 and Day 2, the “Bloggers’ Choice” for Day 3 are
(MCARE-061-2021) A flexible free-standing cathode from MgIn2S4 / carbon nanofibers for magnesium sulfur batteries presented by R. Adam, University of Cologne, Germany.
- This presentation focused on using magnesium to replace lithium for energy storage applications because of the former’s higher abundancy on Earth, which makes it more eco-friendly, and other additional benefits. The presenter proposed innovative solutions to exploit magnesium in batteries.
All the presentations at EHS S6: Special Symposium: European Energy Harvesting Workshop with Special Honor to Professor Pim W.A. Groen.
Day 4: Closing day
After three exciting and intense days, Day 4 did not have any plenary talks. However, many interesting discussions animated the symposiums.
The Bloggers’ Choice for Day 4 are
(MCARE-122-2021) Designing catalysts for meeting the DOE 150°C challenge for exhaust emissions (invited) presented by A. K. Datye, University of New Mexico, USA.
- In this invited talk, Datye guided the audience through the world of catalysts for automotive applications, with a focus on meeting the challenges faced by the future generation of these devices. Automotive catalysts must provide a high efficiency, but they must work at lower temperatures compared with current generation of catalysts. The presentation focused on how Datye and his group are working on improving the reactivity and the thermal stability by exploiting single atom catalysts.
(MCARE-095-2021) Synthesis of copper, indium, and gallium oxides from waste thin-film solar panels presented by F. Liu, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.
- Liu delivered an interesting presentation on a process to recover copper, indium, and gallium from waste solar panels, focusing on each step.
(MCARE-118-2021) Improving the performance of luminescent solar concentrators: Squeezing the sun (invited) presented by A. Menéndez-Velázquez, IDONIAL Technology Center, Spain.
- This nice presentation delivered by Menéndez-Velázquez concerned photovoltaic solar energy. In particular, he focused on luminescent solar concentrators, explaining how these devices work. Currently, their performances are still low, but several strategies to improve efficiency were described in the talk.
In the closing session, MCARE lead organizer Eva Hemmer highlighted the diverse participation at MCARE-EHS 2021 and highlighted the successful PowerPoint Karaoke event. She closed by reminding listeners that MCARE 2022 will take place in South Korea from Aug. 22–26, 2022.
Following Hemmer’s closing comments, EHS organizing co-chair Shashank Priya talked about EHS 2022, which is planned to be held in September 2022 in the Washington, D.C. area.
MCARE organizing co-chair Sanjay Mathur closed the session, thanking all the organizers and participants.
So, our experience as MCARE-EHS 2021 bloggers comes to an end. We thoroughly enjoyed participating in the conference, having the opportunity to hear excellent talks and witness what happens behind the scenes. We also would like to applaud and highlight the hard-working ACerS staff members who we consider the backbone of MCARE-EHS 2021. Andrea Ross, Greg Geiger, Marilyn Stoltz, Liz Green, and Kameron Haines all did a fantastic job ensuring a smooth execution of MCARE-EHS 2021, and we acknowledge and appreciate their hard work.
We remind you that all the abstracts of the presentations and posters are available on the MCARE-EHS 2021 official website at this link. Also, recordings of all sessions will be available through the Bravura platform through Sept. 30, 2021.
Acknowledgments: The bloggers are grateful to Eva Hemmer for offering them the opportunity to blog for MCARE-EHS 2021. The bloggers also thank Lisa McDonald and Eileen De Guire for their guidance and assistance.