News & Events

image of NRT Soft AE Annual Symposium poster

The NRT Soft AE Annual Symposium was held on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Program details, photos, and recordings are here. In addition to new research and perspectives, the audience was treated to a Calison-Burch – Suno creation in his session on AI and ChatGPT (listen to the Soft AE song).

Undergraduate urban heat researcher Colby Snyder wins the Energy Week@Penn Lightning Talks Judges’ Choice Award on March 13, 2024.

portrait of Sam Layding

Soft AE trainee Sam Layding is named the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Written Blog competition winner and awarded a $500 cash prize and the publication of their blog! Read Sam’s blog, published February 12, 2024, Grace Under Pressure: How AI Can Help Us Design the Next Generation of Smart Separations Membranes.

Soft AE trainees Gabriel Vega-Bellido and Justin Hughes worked with Dr. Erin Berlew to create and deliver two 3-h Python workshops that highlighted soft materials applications for the University of Puerto Rico PREM students on February 2 and 9, 2024. Prof. Sotero at UPR provided a Python primer for these workshops on Feb. 1.  Dr. Kevin Yager gave a demo using a real Brookhaven National Lab data scenario in the last workshop. 18 UPR students completed the entire series; 21 students completed the first two sessions.

group photo of the January NRT Cohort of students
photo of Kristin Field presenting during Trainees Welcome Event

Seven new Trainees joined the Soft AE Program in January 2024. The program welcomed the incoming fellows and their faculty PIs during an event on January 22.

A Soft AE team had the privilege to interact with PREM students and faculty at the 18th Annual PREM Meeting on Dec. 8, 2023. Soft AE trainee Yvonne Zagzag gave an invited talk entitled, Autonomous deposition of polymeric and particle composites for structural control of soft materials.

Check out the program

Read the recommendations from the Panel Session on Best Practices for Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting Graduate Students from MSIs.

Soft AE trainees give weekly talks for the University of Puerto Rico Humacao's PREM flyer image

Soft AE trainees gave weekly talks for the University of Puerto Rico Humacao’s PREM (Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials) program from Oct. 19 – Nov. 9, 2023 over Zoom. [pdf]

NanoDay@Penn 2023 announcement image

Soft AE trainees talked about material science and their own passions for research for NanoDay@Penn 2023 on Oct. 11.  Nearly 50 middle school students and their science teacher, Ms. Outlaw, at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School participated in the session.

Watch Session here.

NRT group photo 09.08.23

Six new Trainees joined the Soft AE Program on September 1, 2023.

Advisory Board Member, Dr. Eckenrode-Stiffler, hosted a Soft AE field trip to Dow’s Spring House Farm on July 12, 2023. We learned about the onsite exposure and characterization of coatings at the Farm, as well as about Dow’s Collegeville-based Construction Chemicals and Digital teams’ work.

Paint Quality Institute front of building
People standing around a table of building materials

Kickoff Symposium flyer image

The Soft AE Kickoff Symposium was held on Thursday, May 4, 2023, 10 am – 3:15 pm at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. The program and videos are here.

Aria, Kait and Felipe participated in the Nano4EARTH workshop (January 24-25, 2023) and, as part of the first of the trainees’ monthly meetings, discussed their impressions and the more generally the intersections of science and policy.

The Soft AE Program welcomed its first trainees, Felipe, Kait and Aria, in January 2023!

Penn’s NRT will participate in the larger network of NRTs to learn best practices (NSF NRT Annual Meeting, October 17-19, 2022)

Penn Engineering Today highlights new NRT (September 7, 2022)

NSF Announces 2022 NRT Awards (June 27, 2022)