Cornell Students present research at 15th annual TECHCON Conference

Picture of Students

Ithaca, New York, October 15, 2013 ,--The nation’s top semiconductor scholars and industry veterans came together for the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) 15th Annual TECHCON conference held in Austin, Texas to 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).

Cornell University students Trent Scott (MSE), Megan Hill (MSE), Kyle Visser (MSE), Robert Newcomb (MSE), Sam Schraer (ChemE) and Kristina Lenn (ChemE Phd) attended the conference. 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.

This year's winners include:

Kristin McDonough, the first place award recipient from Simmons College and a native of Burnsville, Minnesota  presented her research, "Evaluation of the Photodimerization of 4 Vinyl Thymine Ammonium Chloride Polymers and Copolymers Induced by Ultraviolet Light," under the direction of B. Tran, C. Normand, D. Martino, K. Dupuy, N. Chen, R. Gurney, R. Koelln, and S. Bortolo. Her impressive work garnered the Intel provided Lenovo Yoga top prize.

Megan Hill, a Cornell University student from Kansas City, Missouri and the second place winner, presented her work, "Dopant Activation in InGaAs During Sub-ms Laser Spike Annealing: Kinetics, Limitations and Mechanisms on Short Timescales," under the direction of M. Thompson, P. Clancy, W. Mohr, and X. Ma. Her excellent presentation earned the second place-prize, a $150 Best Buy gift card provided by Intel.

In third place, Cameron Baradar of the University of California at Berkeley and a native of Yorba Linda, California, presented his research, "A Capacitively Coupled Contactless Conductivity Detector, for use in the fully integrated low power, Portable Medical Diagnostic Device," under the direction of A. Herr and A. Goforth. Intel recognized his hard work with a $100 Best Buy gift card.

There were also awards recognizing excellence within the SRC community. The 2013 Technical Advisory Boards (TAB) and Science Area Coordinating Committee (SACC) Chairs and the 2013 Mahboob Khan Outstanding Industry Liaison awards were presented during the Monday-evening banquet. The 2013 Technical Excellence Award was presented to Professor David Pan from the University of Texas at Austin. The 2013 Aristotle Award was presented to Professor James Harris of Stanford University. Graduate Best in Session awards and the URO Best Poster awards were presented at Tuesday’s award dinner, the final event of TECHCON 2013.

SRC has 31 years of history producing collaborative research for the semiconductor industry. As an organization, it begins by defining industry needs and then invests in and manages the research that gives its members a competitive advantage in the dynamic global marketplace. Awarded the National Medal of Technology, America's highest recognition for contributions to technology, SRC expands the industry knowledge base and attracts premier students to help innovate and transfer semiconductor technology to the commercial industry. For more information, visit

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