The overall outcome of graduate student experiences in POETS is preparing technical leaders. POETS graduates will be:

(a) Uniquely equipped with entrepreneurial and leadership skills;

(b) ready and able to capture and build on the wide variety of opportunities available to them; and

(c) empowered to create new generations of high power density products and possibly even new companies in this domain.

The training of POETS graduate students will include both multidisciplinary technical knowledge that runs deep in their chosen domain of expertise, as well as breadth of training to understand non-technical aspects of leadership. These include items such as communication and teamwork. These types of students are known as “T” types since they combine both breadth and depth.

Below are several resources for POETS graduate students:

POETS-specific courses

See what courses POETS professors recommend you take to enhance your depth of expertise

STEM outreach opportunities

Resources for getting involved with STEM outreach at your university

Professional IQ

Four course series via Coursera for professionals interested in learning more about ethics and leadership

Leadership Collection

Multi-media library of management and leadership materials curated for academic leaders

Public Speaking Manual

This manual is targeted at undergraduate engineers and is designed to help them improve their oral communication skills

Graduate Education News

Posted: November 6th, 2017

POETS graduate students dominate competitions in scientific communication this month : Nov. 6th, 2017

On October 28th, Sarah Garrow placed as a finalist in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) SWE17 conference graduate student rapid fire competition, which is a four minute presentation and a minute of questions. Sarah also presented on her research titled ‘Dynamic Modeling for Battery Electric Vehicle Thermal Management Systems’ and received third place in the competition! Below is an image of Sarah with Jonna Gerken (SWE president) presenting Sarah with the award. Sarah Garrow is a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Dr. Andrew Alleyne’s group.

Additionally, Tanya Liu did a fabulous job at the NSF Biennial Perfect Pitch competition, taking home the 3rd place award.  This competition involves a 90-second pitch, with only 1 slide and no props and is conducted in front of the entire Biennial Meeting audience.  The winners of each ERC’s local competition participate, so it’s a very tough contest, and only 1st, 2ndand 3rd place awards are made.  This was an amazing showing for POETS first participation in the Biennial competition. The 3rd place award included a $1,000 cash prize.  We would love to see even more students participate in the next POETS pitch competition in 2018, and keep POETS on the podium at the next Biennial meeting. Tanya Liu is a graduate student at Stanford University in Dr. Ken Goodson’s group.


Posted: Sept. 20th, 2017


As part of POETS first student retreat, students participated in a scientific communications workshop where they were taught how to create a 90-second elevator pitch, then went through several rounds of practice. This was in preparation for the ERC-wide perfect pitch competition in November. This engaging workshop was led by Dr. Marina Damiano. The recorded session is available for POETS students on the POETS Portal.


Posted: June 1st,  2017

POETS FIRST GRADUATE STUDENT TOWN HALL: May 31st, 2017POETS’ first graduate student town hall was held on Wednesday, May 31st over WebEx. This event sought to engage students in a productive discussion to provide insight to the concerns and needs of the POETS students body. Prior to the town hall, university representatives gathered students’ ideas and concerns at their respective schools.  The event began with Andrea Wallace, SLC Treasurer (Arkansas), introducing the purpose of the meeting and the ground rules for the event. University reps then presented the individual concerns of each university. An open discussion then followed around the following topics : (1) Scientific Communication Training and Technical Education, (2) Industry: Opportunities, Activities and Involvement, (3)Culture of Inclusion and Connectiveness, (4) STEM Outreach: Awareness and Opportunities, and (5) Center and internal school communication: social events and tools. The town hall was concluded with SLC announcements.

The SLC’s first Town Hall was a success. Students enjoyed the opportunity to voice their concerns and share ideas for improving their personal and research experience here at POETS. The SLC debriefed by sending out a summary of the topics covered at the town hall and outlined the actions items moving forward to address the student’s concerns. We look forward to repeating this event in the future.


Posted: May 8th, 2017


As a part of POETS’ 2nd annual NSF site visit, POETS graduate students participated in a seminar entitled “STEM Outreach: A Supplement to Your Research Skill Set” which was originally organized because graduate students voiced a desired to be more involved with STEM outreach. The main purpose of the event was not just to underscore the importance of outreach, but to give participants a taste of how fun and rewarding outreach can be.

Opening the session, Dr. Jessica Perez, Associate Director of Education and Inclusivity, stressed the importance of outreach then reviewed what STEM outreach looks like and why grad students should get involved. Resources for becoming involved with STEM outreach at each POETS institution is provided here. The seminar then transitioned to a hands-on activity led by Matt Milner, co-president of the graduate student outreach group ENVISION. Building a solar oven from a pizza box and other materials exemplified the kinds of STEM outreach activities POETS graduate students could implement at their own institution.

Check out the article published by iSTEM for more details: