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QESST Scholar wins NSF Perfect Pitch Competition

QESST Scholar wins NSF Perfect Pitch Competition

Pablo Guimerá Coll, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering, brought home a first place win in the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers’ Perfect Pitch Competition.

Coll, a scholar in the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) NSF-DOE Engineering Research Center, won a $5,000 cash prize. He brought home the winning trophy that will reside at QESST until next years’ competition. It is the first time QESST has won this prize.

The Perfect Pitch Competition was held at a Capitol Hill Reception in Washington, D.C. ERC students gave a 90-second elevator speech about their research project and produced one slide to demonstrate what they were discussing.

Coll, who won an earlier competition to represent QESST nationally, presented on “Sound Assisted Low Temperature Wafering for Silicon Modules.”

Goals for the competition include stimulating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and stressing the importance of oral communication and concise and persuasive public speaking.

The competitions at both the individual ERC level and the NSF level were judged by people from industry. Contestants were judged on such things as a compelling statement of the problem and the broader impact of the technology.

Mariana Bertoni, assistant professor of electrical engineering and QESST Thrust 1 Leader, is Coll’s advisor and coached him on his presentation.

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