Engineering Graduate Student Wins First Prize at International Conference

Jessica Rimsza, a graduate student from the Materials Science and Engineering Department (MSE), won first prize in student poster contest at the U.S.-Germany joint conference on glass and optical materials held in Aachen, Germany, in May.

Rimsza works with Dr. Jincheng Du, an Associate Professor in the MSE Department, toward her doctorate degree. At the conference, she presented findings on water/nanoporous silica interactions from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations.  The results provide fundamental understandings of glass-water interactions and reactions that are critical to the corrosion and chemical durability of glass materials for various technological applications. “Jessica’s work has attracted a lot of attention due to the fundamental importance of issues related to glass corrosion and the interesting findings she obtained from the advanced first principles simulations used in her study” said Dr. Du, “Jessica also did a great job by providing a clear interpretation and presentation of her results”.  

Rimsza was selected to win the first prize among a large number of poster presentations, and the award was presented by the president of Germany Glass Society and the chair of the American Ceramic Society Glass and Optical Materials Division (ACerS GOMD) during the conference banquet.

Rimsza is the 2013-14 Programming Committee Chair for ACerS’ President’s Council of Student Advisors. In 2012, she was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In the summer of 2014, Rimsza is doing a research exchange at Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University in Paris supported by NSF International Materials Institute on New Functionality of Glasses.

The Joint Meeting of DGG – ACerS GOMD took place from May 25 - 30, 2014, and included the 88th Annual Meeting of German Society of Glass Technology (DGG) and the American Ceramic Society’s Glass & Optical Materials Division Annual Meeting (ACerS GOMD) together with the 10th International Conference on Advances in Fusion and Processing of Glass (AFPG), Glass Trend Seminar and the 2nd International Glass Fiber Symposium and the Symposium on Nuclear Waste Forms – Fundamentals and Application. More than 600 people attended the conference, which was a great networking opportunity for Rimsza and other participating students.

The historical city of Aachen has developed into a technology hub and is home to RWTH Aachen University, which has strong materials research and education programs and is among the leading European scientific and research institutions. 

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