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NERS Ph.D. Student Yao Kovach given Best Presentation Award

Yao won with her poster “Particle Emission from an Anode Liquid Surface of Electrolyte in Atmospheric Pressure DC Glow.”

woman and man standing together
Yao Kovach and Dr. Qusai Al Shidi.

U-M Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS) Ph.D. student Yao E. Kovach won Best Presentation Award at the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering (MIPSE) 10th Annual Graduate Student Symposium. Her poster, titled “Particle Emission from an Anode Liquid Surface of Electrolyte in Atmospheric Pressure DC Glow,” was among five winners chosen at the symposium which took place on November 13. 

Yao said, “I feel honored to receive the Best Presentation Award in MIPSE 10th Annual Graduate Student Symposium. As a winner, I am proud that I had this great opportunity to demonstrate our research with potential real world applications in atmospheric pressure plasmas to the public. Most importantly, I hope this outcome from Plasma Science Technology Laboratory (PSTL lead by Prof. John E. Foster) can motivate people, especially the younger generations with the interests to the plasma physics and engineering.”

Yao is currently at NERS working toward her graduate degree after obtaining both her B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees from the department in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

She describes her research as being “focused on investigating the interaction of self-organized atmospheric plasma discharges on liquids and metals along with their potential applications in water treatment, plasma medicine, chemical synthesis, and nanomaterial processing.” 

In addition to winning this award from MIPSE, Yao was also a MIPSE fellow and MiPlasma project video interviewer during the 2016–2017 academic year. 

Over the summer, Yao was one of a handful of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) students to receive a 2019 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Award. LANL notes that the award “provides funding for exceptional graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The research projects are expected to advance the graduate awardees’ overall doctoral work while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at DOE laboratories.” This January, Yao will travel to LANL to complete her thesis research. 

Congratulations, Yao!

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