2015 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics Held at Duke University

2015 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics Held at Duke University

Over the weekend January 16-18, 2015, Duke University hosted the American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) in the North Carolina Research Triangle on East Campus, in collaboration with North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University. It's the tenth year the conference has been held (it was at Duke in 2010 and NCSU in 2011).

For the past few years, CUWiP has been organized centrally by the American Physical Society and held simultaneously at several sites around the country. The series is sponsored by the APS, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, and our local conference was sponsored as well by Duke, NCSU and UNC.

About 135 undergraduate physicists from around the Southeast attended presentations and panel discussions on careers for physicists (including alternates to the academic path), professional skills and work-life balance. Parallel workshops and roundtables on many topics facilitated small-group discussions on issues for women in physics, graduate school, involvement in research, and opportunities to learn about specific career paths. Christina Hammock, NASA astronaut-in-training of the class of 2013, made the conference banquet particularly memorable. A final "open mic" session was particularly lively. Students also presented talks and posters on their research. Our own Melody Lim was one of the talk prize-winners, for her presentation "Forces and flows during high speed impacts on a non­Newtonian suspension."

Melody Lim pictured on the right

About this honor, Lim said "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to interact with so many other students in similar positions, and for the encouragement and expertise offered by the many speakers. I'm particularly grateful towards my mentor, Prof. Bob Behringer, and his research group, without whom none of this would be possible!"

A number of Duke undergraduate physicists attended, and several were also very active on the local organizing committee, including Melody Lim and Jenny Su. Undergraduates Katrina Miller and Danielle Riggin did a fantastic job of organizing and chairing the student presentations. Graduate student Kristen Collar organized a plenary panel, and graduate student Meg Shea took care of AV. Finally, Connie Blackmore and Jenni Solis were invaluable in handling logistics.

It was a busy and exciting weekend for all.