NC State MSE has been collaborating with African universities on materials research and education for the past 5 years as part of the SciBridge project. This December, SciBridge president and MSE graduate student Michael Spencer, along with SciBridge faculty advisor Prof. Veronica Augustyn and Associate Department Head Prof. Beth Dickey, traveled to Tanzania to participate in the 10th International African Materials Research Society (AMRS) conference. The conference is held every two years and is the most important meet-up of materials scientists on the continent. The conference featured several symposia as well as pre-conference workshops.
In addition to presenting his research on energy storage materials, Michael Spencer helped organize a demonstration for the Electrochemical Energy Technologies pre-conference workshop. SciBridge constructed 3D printed potentiostats which enabled AMRS pre-conference workshop participants to perform various electrochemical techniques. After the workshop, the potentiostats were distributed to scholars from five countries in Africa. Michael’s presentation with Prof. Augustyn on SciBridge was selected as the “Best Presentation” in the Education and Networking in Materials Science and Engineering symposium.
Prof. Beth Dickey gave a presentation on Integrating Programming and Data Sciences into the Materials Science Curriculum, based on curriculum development in the NSF Research Traineeship on Science and Engineering of Atomic Structure, of which she is the Director. Afterward, Prof. Dickey taught a week-long course on electrochemistry to rural high school teachers in the Arusha region of Tanzania.
The trip continues NC State MSE’s fruitful collaborations with African educational institutions in materials science and engineering.