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[an error occurred while processing this directive] 2007 AIP IPFThe Energy Challenge
SPS student report on the 2007 Industrial Physics Forum & AVS Symposium
October 14-16, 2007 - Seattle, WA

By Lee Massey, University of Wisconsin River Falls

2007 Industrial Physics Forum
54th AVS International Symposium


Lee MasseyThis was the first time I have ever attended a physics conference of any sort, and I’ve got to say, next time I have a chance to attend one, count me in! The 2007 American Institute of Physics Industrial Physics Forum (IPF) was held in Seattle, WA, which was actually sunny on the first day I was there. I had never been to Seattle, so this was a great experience. Not only is the sushi great, there is a lot to see and always plenty to do in Seattle.


The Seattle Space Needle

Though I spent most of my time at the conference meeting new and interesting people and hearing about the latest in energy technology, I was able to see a lot of the city in the evenings. I was able to visit the space needle. I walked around the down town area quite a bit and saw more fresh fish and produce in one place than one could imagine.  I also got a chance to visit the Capitol Hill district, and the University district where the local music scene is prevalent.

The conference was very interesting, with talks on all types of energy technology from bio-fuels, to nuclear power, to solar photovoltaic electricity, etc. I am working on a fellowship for the APS Forum on Physics in Society and my project is to report on the current state of research in the field of alternative fuel sources for passenger vehicles, so “The Energy Challenge” IPF conference correlated directly with my project. The talks were presented by people that are the top in their fields of expertise from some of the biggest name companies in the industry such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Spectrolab, General Atomics, BP Solar, NREL, several National Laboratories, and many Universities including MIT and Harvard, just to name a few.  This gave me first hand information about the latest advances in research in industry as well as academia.


AVS and IPF attendees mingle during the AVS opening mixer reception.


There were many talks that directly related to my project, however, the talk on federal energy policy by Melanie Kenderdine of the Gas Technology Institute was one of the most interesting to me regarding the project. She mentioned some of the goals of the United States Congress for addressing the energy problem and noted some of Congress' top picks for alternate energy sources as well as the 2008 budget request for government research subsidies in the energy field.

Some of the other talks that were most interesting to me were “Current Status of Solid State Lighting” by Shuji Nakamura from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the talk on “Sustainable Nuclear Energy Production and Nuclear Waste Management” by Mark T. Peters from Argonne National Laboratory. Both talks addressed energy problems with electricity use in the United States from a conservation standpoint to clean safe energy production. Attendees were given a chance to ask questions at the end of most of the talks and also were able to meet and talk with the speakers one-on-one. There were also many other people to meet and talk with such as AIP and SPS staff as well as staff from the American Vacuum Society being that the conference was held in conjunction with the annual AVS International Symposium.


Dr. Millie Dresselhaus, Chair of the AIP Governing Board, moderated the IPF session titled 'Frontiers in Physics.'


The 'Experience Music Project,' a Seattle museum devoted to popular music.

The AVS symposium also had many talks going on that one could attend and were included in the AIP registration cost. However, though
there were no parallel sessions within the AIP conference itself, the
AVS program contained multiple, thematically-different sessions that ran in parallel with the IPF Forum. The AVS also had an exposition where people were invited to visit booths where companies in the vacuum industry had their latest technology and products on display as well as some advertisement and contest opportunities to enter.  The AVS Symposium also had a student mixer where drinks and appetizers were served and people had a chance to mingle with the other students and people in the industry with similar interests.

Overall the conference was fun, interesting, and educational and gave me ideas about how to present my research, hopefully, next spring at similar conferences.  I would recommend that all students attend at least one conference of this sort during their college career.


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