2022 CISTAR Biannual Meeting at the University of Notre Dame

The 2022 CISTAR Biannual meeting took place October 17-19, 2022 at the University of Notre Dame. This was the first fully in-person, center-wide meeting in the last two years with industry members, CISTAR Fellows, faculty, and staff from all five partner universities.

CISTAR Fellows participated in professional development activities on the topics of engineering ethics and mindfulness in addition to an interactive workshop using the tool, Country Navigator. Country Navigator is an immersive training tool used by companies across the globe to enhance cultural intelligence and encourage inclusivity in working environments. 

The following day fellows gave their 90-second, Poster Perfect Pitch to industry members and CISTAR faculty. The audience evaluated the fellows on their delivery and selected a first, second, and in a three-way tie, three, third-place winners. CISTAR congratulates the following fellows: 

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From left to right: Sopuruchukwu Ezenwa, Matt Davenport, Fabio Ribeiro, Angel Santiago Colon, Edwin Rodriguez Gil, Brandon Burnside

  • First Place: Matt Davenport, the University of Texas at Austin (Advisors - Joan Brennecke & Benny Freeman) 
  • Second Place: Angel Santiago Colon, Purdue University (Advisor - Raj Gounder)
  • Third Place: Brandon Burnside, University of New Mexico (Advisor - Abhaya Datye)
  • Third Place: Sopuruchukwu Ezenwa, Purdue University (Advisor - Raj Gounder) 
  • Third Place: Edwin Rodriguez Gil, Purdue University (Advisor - Rakesh Agrawal)

The first-place winner, Matt Davenport, will represent CISTAR at the next ERC Biennial Meeting to compete against students from other ERCs at the nationwide Poster Perfect Pitch competition. 

Following the poster pitch, a poster session took place in the Jordan Hall Galleria. 

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While the Annual Meeting in the spring is focused on the NSF review of the ERC, the Biannual Meeting provides the CISTAR team a chance to collaborate in person and gather feedback from advisory boards. Industry members listened to presentations from faculty on the top five research and development areas of interest, identified by NSF at the spring meeting, and participated in a brainstorming session where the group provided their input and advice on specific areas of CISTAR's research efforts. CISTAR Fellows not only had the opportunity to interact with industry members during the poster session but also during the 'Meet Industry Hour' event. The speed-networking event where industry members and fellows circulated the room was well received by all that participated. 

Members of the Education and Diversity Advisory Board (EDAB) met with the Engineering Workforce Development and Diversity and Inclusion teams where they had meaningful discussions on future plans for the programs. 

At a dinner reception, Fabio Ribeiro presented awards to the 2022 CISTAR Outstanding Mentors (Read more about the mentor award winners) 

  • Outstanding Faculty Mentors: Ruilan Guo, University of Notre Dame; Christina Li, Purdue University. 
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Mentors: David Dean, Purdue University; Leonardo Ruggiero, University of New Mexico. 

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Dr. Linda Broadbelt introduced her colleague, Dr. Tobin Marks, who was scheduled to make some after-dinner remarks.  She enumerated the many ways that Dr. Marks has been remarkable over the years, whether one looks “by the numbers” (i.e., the number of awards, publications, students mentored, and patents) or at his collegiality as he is the first to answer email requests, the first to offer his help or leadership, and the first to encourage first-generation college students, being one himself. During his address, Dr. Marks pointed out to the graduate students the uniqueness of their opportunity in CISTAR to interact with industry and learn more practical applications and also addressed how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is more than just capturing the numbers.  Read more about Dr. Marks' talk.

The next CISTAR Annual Meeting and Site Visit will take place April 11-14, 2023 at Purdue University.