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International Workshop on Acoustic Transduction Materials and Devices

International Workshop on Acoustic Transduction Materials and Devices

By Aida Yoguely Cortés-Peña


I presented my undergraduate research project titled “Effects of High Energy X‐Rays and Proton Irradiation on Ferroelectric Thin Films." at the 2012 International Workshop on Acoustic Transduction Materials and Devices. Graduate students from top universities all over the country, and presidents of companies that manufacture Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) traveled to attend this conference. I got the opportunity to sit amongst them and listen to the scientists as they delivered speeches on breakthrough results and fascinating future applications. To my surprise, I did not find any students my age. I think I was in fact the only undergraduate who attended.


At the conference, I networked with graduate students from top engineering schools such as Rutgers, Virginia Tech and University of Michigan. They shared the different graduate programs and ongoing research at their respective universities. I was able to build my professional skills by speaking with professors such as Dr. Trolier-McKinstry, who works on piezoelectric films for the next generation logic elements at Pennsylvania State University. A visiting scientist from MIT, one of my top choices for graduate school, spoke to me about the university and provided me with guidance to help me stay on track. These scientists had diverse backgrounds and interesting career stories. And they all had one thing in common, they strongly encouraged collaboration.Attending the 2012 International Workshop on Acoustic Transduction Materials and Devices has been a great opportunity, exposing me to the field of Materials Science Engineering. I learned about current tools and future technologies. This conference has helped open doors for collaboration in research projects at Georgia Tech and has helped narrow down my career interests for graduate studies. I am motivated to continue my research and continue contributing in future conferences.


At the dinner table, I sat with scientists from countries such as Ireland, France, Lebanon and Korea. I gained a global perspective on the benefits of collaboration across great distances. This helped me realize the huge impact and importance of my research project on others. I was also able to meet the presidents of companies, such as Radiant Technologies, who manufactures the tools that allow my lab to characterize and study these piezoelectric materials. I was able to give them direct feedback for improvement on these tools. I also met face to face with engineers from the Army Research Lab with whom I have been collaborating on my research project during the school year. This opportunity has helped me build stronger connections. Now I am connected to a community from which we can exchange ideas and work together on big projects.

Exchanging Aid-eas

At the conference I attended speaker sessions and learned about the wide variety of applications that these smart materials have. It ranges from high resolution imaging for medicine and life sciences to the integration into electronics for micro-robots for rescue missions. The poster sessions exposed me to the different properties of materials being studied such as Magnetics and Magneto electrics. And also the different processing methods used such as Aerosol deposition and atomic layer deposition. At this forum, not only did I learn from others, but I was able to share my findings with all these professionals in the field. 

Presentation and Poster Session

I gained valuable presentation experience by learning to communicate my work to high level professionals and encourage them to visit my poster. At my poster display, a crowd surrounded me with interesting and challenging questions about the results obtained. They also shared their own interpretation of the science behind the data, helping me see a problem from different perspectives. They also gave very constructive ideas for future work, such as studying the aging effects and recovery mechanisms from exposure, studying different ranges of radiation exposure for different satellite applications, and extending this study to bulk materials.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

― Christian D Larson

I held this quote close to me before stepping into the airplane and returned with a better understanding of its meaning.