Janicki Wins WISL Award for Communicating PhD Research to the Public

Recent Chemistry doctoral graduate, Tesia Janicki, was awarded the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) Award for Communicating PhD Research to the Public. Her chapter in her PhD thesis, “Atomistic computational approaches in molecular models and inorganic crystallization,” is a series of cartoons explaining key concepts of chemistry and of Janicki’s doctoral work.

Janicki’s PhD work included developing new simulation methods to enable accurate simulation of condensed-phase phase system, with a special emphasis on crystallization processes. Her models help reduce the cost and time to research these processes, which are important in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to the manufacture of semiconductors.

“’Not knowing’ is an opportunity to learn something new and exciting,” wrote Janicki in the introduction to the winning chapter. “I believe disseminating research in a publicly consumable format is just as essential as the research, itself. This chapter is for the scientific curiosity which lives in us all.”

Janicki’s research was funded, in part, by the Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Education Center (MRSEC) in Prof. J. R. Schmidt’s lab (DMR 1720415) and via a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

The WISL Award for Communicating PhD Research to the Public is given annually to doctoral candidates who submit a PhD thesis chapter that describes their research to non-science audiences. This means avoiding discipline-specific terms that someone without scientific training wouldn’t understand, as well as directly conveying the significance of the research.