University of New Orleans student Cynthiya Shrestha won the Best Poster Award at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences. The conference was held Oct. 15-17 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Shrestha, a native of Nepal, is a sophomore honors student majoring in mechanical engineering. She conducts research in UNO’s Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI) with John Wiley, professor of chemistry and AMRI director, and graduate student Sarah Gauthier. Her winning presentation was entitled “Study of the Interlayer Spacing of Intercalated Hexaniobate Nanoscrolls.”
Wiley’s research project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, involves fabricating microscopic structures that mimic peas in a pod. These very tiny—also known as nanoscale—structures are about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. They consist of chains of particles (the peas) surrounded by a ceramic-like sheet (the pod). The research could lead to advances in developing new optical, electronic or medical devices with particularly promising applications in using sunlight to convert water to hydrogen gas, a clean fuel source, according to Wiley.
The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences brings together outstanding student researchers who are able to share their current research experiences, interact with peers from other universities and attend lectures by scientists who are leaders in their field.