On February 8, 2017, Vidya Kishore represented the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville, as part of Graduate Education Week. Kishore, a third year PhD student at the Bredesen Center, joined other graduate students from institutions across the state in a morning poster session, where she talked with legislators and government staff about science and her research. This event provided a valuable showcase for the incredible caliber of research done by graduate students at UT.
Kishore received an MS in Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY. She is now working toward a PhD in Energy Science and Engineering, with Chad Duty, associate professor in MABE, as her mentor. Her research focuses on polymer additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, and involves the analysis of the fundamentals of lightweight, high-temperature composite materials. The goal of this work is not only to find out what would make these materials printable, but how to make them better and stronger in the process. She is enthusiastic about the possibilities of manufacturing that is faster, cheaper, and more energy efficient than traditional manufacturing, involving much less waste. These aims have brought her to the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a facility that worked with Boeing to print a tool that is the largest solid 3D printed object ever created. She has the privilege of working with Vlastimil Kunc, PhD, the team lead for Polymer Materials Development at the MDF.
Graduate Education Week is an event resulting from a proclamation from Governor Haslam to recognize the positive impact of graduate students and graduate education on Tennessee. Kishore is honored to have been chosen by the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools to represent UT at this event. She welcomed the opportunity to speak directly to legislators about the importance of science and graduate research and to show them the tangible effects of those endeavors. The University of Tennessee is fortunate to have graduate students like Vidya who are working to build a bright future.