The Electrochemical Society’s (ECS) Western University Student Chapter was established in October, 2017. The chapter held their inaugural event on December 15th, 2017 in the form of their first annual graduate student symposium. The day featured 20 minute presentations from two of the section’s faculty advisors, Drs. Jamie Noël and David Shoesmith. Dr. Noël opened the symposium by giving an orientation to the ECS, including explaining all the benefits and opportunities offered by the ECS. Dr. Shoesmith gave a more technical talk to begin the afternoon session, where he explained the different surface analytical techniques available at Western University to augment electrochemical studies. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows provided the rest of the oral presentations. The presentations ranged between 10 and 15 minutes, and featured 2 presentations by postdocs, 6 by PhD candidates, and 3 by MSc candidates. A variety of topics were covered including but not limited to corrosion, solar cell optimization, scanning electrochemical microscopy, and electrogenerated chemiluminescense of both carbon and graphene based quantum dots. After each presentation, the presenters and symposium attendees engaged in a discussion regarding the presented material to ensure a thorough understanding of the techniques displayed, and an inclusive learning atmosphere. This format allowed for the discussion of various electrochemical and surface analytical techniques along with the problems these techniques can be used to solve. Discussions stimulated ideas for each of the symposium attendees for possible future experiments. The day also included a lunch social, with food being provided by the chapter. This allowed for conversations to continue during lunch, and also help create a friendlier atmosphere throughout the section.
At the conclusion of the symposium, the members of the chapter participated in a chapter meeting to discuss the future of the session. Ideas were brainstormed for future events to ensure that the members receive the greatest possible benefit from the chapter events. An election process was also established for replacing members of the executive committee when current committee members graduate. Overall, the symposium was a huge success and should promote further participation in chapter events, and foster an atmosphere that creates growth in membership in the future.
The chapter would like to acknowledge the financial and technical support of the ECS, Surface Science Western, and the Surface Science division of the Chemistry Institute of Canada.