Jacqueline Siy wins nanoUtah 2011 "Innovation Idol" contest

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Basking in the glow of a blue neon “Innovation Idol” sign, the University of Utah’s Jacqueline Siy, Ph.D., garnered the most audience votes in the nanoUtah 2011 contest Thursday, Oct. 13. She took home a $500 prize for the most exciting commercialization project involving nanotechnology.

Siy received her doctorate in chemistry in Dec. 2010 at the University of Utah, and is currently a postdoc for Prof. Michael Bartl. Her presentation was on “Upscale synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals,” also known as quantum dots.

Siy had competition from two other presenters at the fast-moving session held during the 7th annual nanoUtah conference. One was Ben Bunes,  a Ph. D. candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Utah, with research focusing on sensors for explosive materials.  He works in the lab of USTAR researcher Ling Zang. Bunes’ presentation was titled “Low-cost sensors for improvided explosive devices.”

The other presenter was Christopher Lambert, an undergraduate in the U of U’s Biomedical Engineering Department. He works on the Microfluidics team under the direction of Prof. Bruce Gale. Lambert’s presentation was titled, “Early cancer detection and monitoring instrument.”

The three contestants each had seven minutes to present their ideas to the audience and to the panel of experts. The panel included U of U Prof. Glenn Prestwich, Troy D’Ambrosio of the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center, and Ross Viguet of the law firm Fulbright Jaworski. Michael O’Malley of USTAR emcee’d. After lots of QA between the panel, contestants and audience, the audience voted and selected Siy’s presentation as the winning entry.


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