Department of Mechanical Engineering

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IAP Workshop: Crafting your Thesis Proposal
Jan/11 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/18 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM

Your Ph.D. thesis proposal is likely your first foray into writing a research or grant proposal.  Different from a research paper or report, it represents an (open-ended) plan of work you hope to do rather than work that you have done.  The thesis proposal process represents an opportunity to critically review the literature and collaborate with your faculty advisor on a proposed project. However, there is no class to teach you how to refine a general idea into a critically thought out plan.  Regardless of the amount of support you receive from your faculty advisor, you can still find the process daunting or intimidating.  Will it be too ambitious? Will it be enough to satisfy a committee?  How do I know it will work?


This workshop will provide you with structure and insight into the nebulous art of writing a thesis proposal.  Designed to help you refine your general idea into a 1-page summary, the workshop uses a combination of instruction and partner/small group discussions.  The collaborative environment will enable you to refine your ideas and strategize navigating the iterative process of thesis proposal writing. 


By the end of the course, you will:

  • Understand what components come together to form a thesis proposal
  • Learn a powerful collaborative brainstorming technique for partner and group discussions
  • Strategize how to solicit feedback on your proposal
  • Create a 1-page summary statement of your thesis proposal
  • Form useful and meaningful connections with peers at a similar stage in their academic journey


Offered by MechE Grad Student Coaching (MEGSC)

Dr. Kelli Hendrickson, Program Lead Coach


All MEGSC programs abide by the four core guidelines of Confidentiality, Presence, Authenticity and Respect. This provides you the space to openly reflect on any challenges you face in refining your proposal ideas while adding structure and strategies to getting your proposal crafted.



Signup Link:

Introduction to pump-probe spectroscopy for study of thermal transport in materials
Jan/28 Fri 01:00PM–05:00PM

Pump-probe spectroscopy is a versatile and powerful technique to probe the microscopic dynamics of energy carriers. This course is designed to give a clear picture of pump-probe spectroscopy for the study of phonons in nano- to micron-scale. We will cover fundamentals of related fields including lasers, optics, photonics and technical knowledge to understand working principles and underlying physics of various pump-probe spectroscopy experiments, which have been a great success in the territory of the studies on heat transfer. By solving analytical models and applying data processing methods, we show that pump-probe spectroscopy techniques have successfully measured various types of materials and structures, discovered non-conventional thermal transport in materials and provided unique opportunities building the foundation of modern thermal science.