Thayer Dean Alexis Abramson to Keynote Wetterhahn Symposium

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Undergraduates will present their scientific research at the May 22 event.

Alexis Abramson
Thayer Dean Alexis Abramson will discuss the role that engineers and human-centered design will play in combating the effects of climate change. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)

The 2024 Karen E. Wetterhahn Symposium, one of Dartmouth’s leading STEM events for undergraduates, will be held on Wednesday, May 22.

Thayer School of Engineering Dean Alexis Abramson will deliver the kickoff keynote address at 4 p.m. in Cook Auditorium. Her talk will focus on the role that engineers and human-centered design will play in combating the effects of climate change.

“This is among the most pressing issues of this generation, and I think it will be of great interest to our students,” says Morgan Hamilton, assistant director for Undergraduate Advising and Research.

Abramson’s research focuses on the design and synthesis of unique nanomaterials for use in alternative energy applications, solving energy efficiency problems, and strategies to accelerate technology commercialization at universities and research institutions.

Named in honor of the late Karen E. Wetterhahn, a professor of chemistry, a pioneering educator, administrator, and co-founder of the Women in Science Project at Dartmouth, the undergraduate research symposium is now in its 32nd edition.

At 5:30 p.m., about 170 undergraduates will present over 130 posters detailing their scientific research and compete for several awards, including the Christopher Reed Science Competition, the Women in Science Project Sophomore Scholarships, and the Library Research in the Sciences Prize.

“This is a fun and dynamic capstone to the work that they have put into their research this year,” says Hamilton. “The process of creating a poster, of deciding how to curate the most relevant information and communicate to a diverse audience, is a really important step for anyone who intends to pursue the sciences.”

Partners for the symposium include the Women in Science Project, Undergraduate Advising and Research, the Dean of Faculty Office, Dartmouth College Library, and the Class of 1976

Last year, the keynote was delivered by Sian Leah Beilock, a cognitive scientist who became Dartmouth’s first female president in June 2023. President Beilock’s speech focused in part on her research on math anxiety.

Harini Barath