EOC Project Description
EOC PROJECT SUMMARY
Supporting STEM education, workforce training and economic growth through demonstrations of
advanced imaging and characterization techniques.
Nicolas J. Briot, PhD
University of Kentucky
The Electron Microscopy Center (EMC) of the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering requests
support from the KY NSF EPSCoR program to organize and implement workshops and demonstrations,
both in-person and remote, of the possibilities it offers for students, researchers and local companies. The
EMC houses top-of-the-art equipment with excellent capabilities, which allows advanced imaging and
characterization of complex materials such as those created by additive manufacturing techniques,
embedded sensors or miniature electronics. The proposed workshops and demonstrations will leverage this
instrumentation to show attendees the level of support that the EMC and the University of Kentucky
The proposed workshops and demonstration activities will be designed for multiple profiles of participants:
high school students and teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, academic researchers, and local
companies evolving in technology and advanced manufacturing. The proposed activities will directly
benefit the local economy, not only by meeting scientists and engineers from local companies and
familiarizing them to the support network available at Kentucky universities, but also by inspiring young
students to follow STEM studies and educate the future workforce of the state of Kentucky.
The proposed workshops and demonstrations will prepare students for positions in the local technology
industry, by educating them on new types of materials and innovative manufacturing techniques. The
knowledge they will gain will give them the tools to be successful after graduation, confident in the level
of materials characterization support available to them.
Beyond simple demonstrations of its equipment capabilities, the EMC will directly address challenges faced
by local companies by examining real samples and discussing practical cases. The insights gained by local
scientists and engineers will allow them to refine their techniques, accelerate the development of new
technologies and improve their manufacturing processes.
The proposed workshops will directly benefit the local community, by providing advanced level education
about materials characterization to young students in high school, inspiring them to pursue a degree in
STEM fields, maybe revealing vocations. The proposed activities will also help undergraduate and graduate
student accomplish their objectives, preparing them for a job in the technology industry and boosting their
confidence should they have the ambition to create their own company. These workshops will contribute
to the preparation of the workforce of tomorrow, positioning the state of Kentucky for success, strengthened
by a highly capable pool of graduates.