WiSys Quick Pitch - UWRF winner Kimberly Mackiel

UWRF senior Kimberly Mackiel, left, accepts her WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-River Falls first place award from WiSys Regional Associate Ray French, right.

Senior chemistry major wins WiSys Quick Pitch@ UW-River Falls event by explaining nanotech research

December 13, 2019 – University of Wisconsin-River Falls senior chemistry major Kimberly Mackiel won the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-River Falls Dec. 2 by explaining nanotech research. She won a $300 prize and is now eligible to participate in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final at the WiSys SPARK Symposium July 27-28 in Madison.

Mackiel’s winning presentation was called “Producing Polymer-Quantum Dot Composite Materials Through Direct Ligand Reaction.” Nanotechnology is a readily growing billion-dollar industry and nanoparticles are being used in devices such as flat panel displays for better color saturation, according to Mackiel. Mackiel is from Lake Elmo, Minn.

The competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public.

UWRF senior and animal science major Karly Anderson, of Cottage Grove, Minn., took second place in the event and earned a $100 prize. Anderson’s presentation was titled “Relationship of Captive Bolt Stunning Location with Basic Tissue Measurements and Exposed Cross-Sectional Brain Area in Cadaver Heads from Market Pigs.”

Anderson’s research focuses on finding a more consistent and humane method of on-farm euthanasia for market weight pigs using the common method of a penetrating captive bolt. As pigs mature, the frontal location becomes less effective due to changes in the thickness of the bone and tissue that protects the brain. Alternative locations for captive bolt euthanasia are needed for mature pigs, according to Anderson.

UWRF senior and neuroscience major Anthony Craig, of Burnsville, Minn., took home the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the UW-River Falls Chancellor’s Office and voted on by the audience. His presentation was titled “Reduction of Waste: Mechanochemically Induced Reactions.”

Solvents—which have historically been used to assist in making and breaking bonds in chemical reactions—allow people to do many things. The use of solvents, however, can be harmful due to the waste produced. One potentially advantageous route to consider is mechanochemistry, which can remove the solvents from chemical synthesis, reducing the amount of waste production, according to Craig.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

For more information about WiSys, call Craig Sauer at 608-316-4039.

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