Simmons College Student Wins Top Undergraduate Prize at 15th Annual TECHCON Conference

October 15, 2013

Kris TECHCON Poster Award

Simmons College student Kris McDonough (B.S. Chemistry and Physics, '13) took first prize in the Undergraduate Research Competition at the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) 15th Annual TECHCON conference held in Austin, Texas.

McDonough presented his research, "Evaluation of the Photodimerization of 4 Vinyl Thymine Ammonium Chloride Polymers and Copolymers Induced by Ultraviolet Light," under the direction of Debora Martino, Rich Gurney & Nancy Lee. His impressive work garnered the Intel provided Lenovo Yoga top prize. Nina Chen (Chemistry, '15) also attended the conference.

TECHCON is a gathering of the nation's top semiconductor scholars and industry veterans, where they present their research, collaborate with colleagues, and discuss recent papers to further the growth and success in the semiconductor industry. The event is the culmination of years of research work and preparation for many attendees, and industry representatives and colleagues are able to learn about and support each other's work during the conference.

Attending the September event were students and faculty from 55 of America's top universities with representatives from industry leaders, distinguished guest speakers, government representatives and SRC staff. Altogether, almost 500 participated in TECHCON 2013, and 51 undergraduates were selected from across the country to attend from top flight engineering schools. Their attendance was made possible through the support of Intel Foundation, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Company).

To participate in the conference, undergraduate students are required to submit an abstract for review by a SRC-coordinated committee. Student selection for the presentations is based on numerous criteria including the best level of research, and the rigorous qualification process is extremely competitive.

Invited speakers from both the industry and academia provided a glimpse of a very exciting future for the semiconductor industry. Dr. Rafic Makki, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Executive Fellow, delivered the keynote address titled, The Semiconductor Industry: The Essence of Disruptive Innovation. Dr. Richard Talbot, director PLM of the IBM Power Systems delivered his talk, IBM Watson at Work, at the New Frontiers session, a part of the program where future development concepts are discussed. Both were strongly attended and well received by the audience stimulating discussion throughout the event.

In addition, Undergraduate Research Opportunity (URO) students presented dozens of industry-reviewed papers sessions over two days. They are evaluated by industry experts and representatives including James Johnson of Intel, Dan Herr of Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and Gil Vandentop of SRC STARnet. The top papers are given Best Poster awards at the end of the conference.