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The Center for Bright Beams, A National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center

2019 Annual Meeting

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Particle accelerators, and the technology that enables them, are helping to shape the future. Things as diverse as extending Moore's law to combating climate change are being driven by the research being done at universities around the world, and particularly at the NSF-funded Center for Bright Beams.To discuss and share these advancements, the Center for Bright Beams held its annual meeting and public symposium in late June on the Cornell University Campus.

Ritchie Patterson (CBB Director) speaking to a large room full of people.
Ritchie Patterson delivers the Center for Bright Beams overview.

As CBB advances through its third year of funding, these meetings give CBB participants an opportunity to meet in-person, network, and build the camaraderie that is needed in order to operate an efficient science and technology center.
Director Ritchie Patterson and other leaders of CBB delivered science talks about the world-class research of the center, while also focusing on the team science and collaboration between the themes themselves, noting that almost 50% of the publications and conference proceedings are authored by multiple center PIs.While the research goals of the center are lofty, so are the ambitions that target the "soft skills" of CBB participants, particularly the graduate students. During the meetings, the students participated in a full-day science communication workshop, where they worked with leaders in the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, a group that empowers scientists to communicate complex topics in clear and engaging ways.

Pallavi, presenting a scientific poster to someone.
Pallavi Saha presenting her resaerch after the poster blitz.

They were later able to showcase their skills and expansive involvement in the center through scientific presentations, garnering enthusiasm and excitement through a one-minute poster blitz - a sixty second scramble to explain their research and ultimately invite the audience to visit their poster.
The poster blitz quickly highlights the diverse research of the center, as well as the varied styles and personalities of the students. All students shined in their presentations, and like years past, the poster blitz proved to be a highpoint of the meeting.

Along with building communication skills, another goal is to ensure that CBB graduate students are capable of recognizing and transferring their skills to industry and national labs. The meeting featured a panel discussion from representatives of industry where graduate students could hear first-hand from a former CBBer, Daniel Hall, as well as others in related fields. Daniel, who received his PhD in accelerator science at Cornell with extensive research with CBB, is now a senior design engineer at ASML, an innovation leader in the chip industry. He was able to provide insight into the importance of the work ethic and rigor that receiving a PhD can provide. He explained that regardless of the minutia of the research, the work ethic of a graduate student in a center like CBB can provide opportunities almost anywhere.The highlight, and final speaker of the meeting was Angela Winfield, Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at Cornell University. She is an attorney, a professional motivational speaker and coach. The experience of losing her sight and navigating the world as a blind woman has shaped her perspective on life, and she was able to share these experiences with the participants. Winfield discussed the power of possibility, uncertainty, curiosity and change that has been an unexpected source of hope for her and this certainly resonated with the members of the Center for Bright Beams.

Angela Winfield, Director of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at Cornell University.
Angela Winfield, Director of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at Cornell University.