WE15 Rapid Fire Sessions – Call for Applications!

Applications have opened for the WE15 Rapid Fire Sessions in Nashville, TN! Rapid Fire allows SWE members to present their research to a panel of judges and audience of peers from a wide array of STEM disciplines. Emphasizing concision and clarity, these sessions contain a series of five-minute presentations followed by a brief Q&A session for each presenter. Presenters are given feedback immediately following the session.

This is a great way to receive feedback on your presenting skills. The audience is smaller, and presentation times are shorter than for traditional conference platform presentations. Rapid Fire also serves as a great way to justify your attendance at WE15 to your advisor and others!

In addition to presenting your own research in an efficient and concise manner, we ask that you consider how your research fits into the world in a broader sense, specifically in the context of the fourteen NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering (http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/challenges.aspx).  With technological advances becoming more frequent and humanity becoming more interconnected than ever before, it is imperative that we reflect on how our technological discoveries affect humanity at large, not only in our own local daily environments. Toward this aim, the NAE has identified the below grand challenges facing engineers of the 21st century:

  1. Make Solar Energy Economical
  2. Provide Energy from Fusion
  3. Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods
  4. Manage the Nitrogen Cycle
  5. Provide Access to Clean Water
  6. Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure
  7. Advance Health Informatics
  8. Engineer Better Medicines
  9. Reverse-Engineer the Brain
  10. Prevent Nuclear Terror
  11. Secure Cyberspace
  12. Enhance Virtual Reality
  13. Advance Personalized Learning
  14. Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery

We invite you to reflect on how these challenges fit into your own research and write your abstract in this context. If you are interested in participating in a Rapid Fire Session, please fill out the application here. The application will be closed at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, September 21. Applicants will be notified of their status by Monday, September 28, 2015. All graduate students are STRONGLY encouraged to apply!

For questions about the application, please email:

Richelle Thomas, Graduate Programming Coordinator (grad-programs-coordinator@swe.org)

Rachel Unruh, Graduate Programming Coordinator – Elect (grad-programs-coordinator-elect@swe.org)


WE14 Rapid Fire Submissions Due in 2 Weeks!

Submissions for the WE14 Rapid Fire presentations are due in just two weeks, on July 16th!

Here is your chance to present your technical work to a broader audience, learn how to connect your your thesis to broader goals, and get some feedback on your presentation. As a previous participant, I found it to be very useful, both for improving my presentation skills and for really hearing what challenges other SWE graduate students are solving in their research groups.

It also gives you a further opportunity to solicit funding from your advisor to attend the WE14 conference!

Click here to submit an abstract.

Note that your abstract must be constructed around one or more of the NAE (National Academy of Engineering) Grand Challenges. Detailed descriptions of these challenges can be found on their website.

Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and notifications will be sent out in August. Please keep in mind that all chosen Rapid Fire presenters must confirm that they will attend WE14. 

3rd Annual Rapid Fire Sessions at WE14 LA!

Rapid Fire sessions are back again! The sessions will be held at the WE14 conference in Los Angeles, CA (October 23-25). Participating in the Rapid Fires is a great way to showcase your research to a diverse audience while honing your communication skills. The sessions consist of five minute presentations by graduate students with a focus on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering.


Read on for more info!

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