The Princeton Catalysis Initiative will hold its Fifth Annual Symposium on Wednesday, May 24, drawing over 26 Princeton faculty along with industry partners to Frick Laboratory to showcase research programs primed for collaboration.
The day-long event revolves around PCI’s signature eight-minute flash talks. The talks are designed to generate conversations that will drive innovative new research across disciplines. Industry representatives from PCI’s six partnerships will also be on-hand to find out what’s new and exciting on campus.
The Symposium opens at 9 a.m. with a flash talk from Emily Carter, Senior Strategic Advisor and Associate Laboratory Director for Applied Materials and Sustainability Sciences at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment; and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Carter last presented at the Symposium in 2019.
“The topic of this talk is a report on the first year of PCI support of a new experimental-theoretical collaboration related to understanding electrolytically catalyzed carbonate formation in seawater (related to carbon sequestration),” said Carter.
Four one-hour sessions of six speakers each will follow throughout the day interspersed with networking breaks. The sessions include also faculty talks from Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Geosciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Sociology, Chemical and Biological Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, and the Ludwig Princeton Branch.
Founded in 2017 as a way to catalyze new synergies among Princeton faculty and with industry, PCI has since provided committed funding of $80M for over 100 research collaborations involving 95 faculty members—scholars who otherwise might not have found common ground.
“The PCI Symposium is a pretty unique event in academia,” said Paul Chirik, a founding member of the PCI Faculty Committee and the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry. “Scientists and engineers are thinking about a lot of the same big problems but coming at them from very different angles. So people stand up and give these eight-minute, high-level talks. They cut right to the chase. They don’t worry about the details. They’re very accessible. And then there’s lots of time afterwards to just meet people and talk to them about what you just heard.
“Our partners from industry are invited to the Symposium and they often bring a large cohort of co-workers. They’re in the audience and they may grab onto something you say. And again, because that structure’s in place it is seamless to talk to each other.”
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Adji Bousso Dieng will make her first appearance at the Symposium, presenting on developing synergies at the intersection of AI and the natural sciences.
“There are many problems common to different areas in the natural sciences and we can help formalize a method that will tackle those problems with AI at the center,” said Dieng. “I am hoping my Symposium flash talk will excite scientists about the power of AI in helping unlock new scientific discoveries and will convince them that they can count on Vertaix as a lab to develop fruitful collaborations.”
The Fifth Annual Princeton Catalysis Initiative Symposium will be held Wednesday, May 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Princeton Chemistry’s Frick Lab, with a reception to follow in the Atrium. For more information on this year’s Symposium, please visit the Princeton Catalysis Initiative website. PCI members and Princeton ID holders may register here.