Newswise — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory hosted an American Physical Society (APS) Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) on Jan. 20-22. The conference series, sponsored by DOE and the National Science Foundation, is designed to support undergraduate women and gender minorities in physics by connecting them with resources, community, information on graduate school and professionals in their field. It also provides students with access to other women in physics with whom they can share experiences, advice and ideas.
The January 2023 event is one of 14 APS CUWiP events hosted across the country and is notable for being the first event hosted solely by a national laboratory. More than 150 students from 40 colleges and universities attended.
“Argonne is committed to equipping the next generation of scientists, and encouraging and retaining undergraduate women in physics is especially crucial to ensure their ongoing success” — Kawtar Hafidi, associate laboratory director of Argonne’s Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate
“Argonne is committed to equipping the next generation of scientists, and encouraging and retaining undergraduate women in physics is especially crucial to ensure their ongoing success,” said Kawtar Hafidi, associate laboratory director of Argonne’s Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate. “We are thrilled that Argonne was able to provide a supportive space for these women to find community and gain awareness of the exciting opportunities physics has to offer.”
The conference featured more than 50 speakers, including keynote addresses from Hafidi, as well as Wendy Freedman, John and Marion Sullivan University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, and Rachel Ivie, Senior research fellow at the American Institute of Physics.
“It’s important that undergraduate women know that there is a home for them in physics,” said Lindsey Bleem, a physicist at Argonne and one of the event organizers. “There are amazing women working at Argonne. Connecting with them shows that there’s real opportunity for women in this field.”
The three-day event included a set of seminars, Q&A panels with women in diverse careers in physics, interactive skills workshops and laboratory and facility tours. Students also had the opportunity to gain experience presenting posters and talks on their undergraduate research.
“CUWiP is a valuable for students like me,” said student organizer Isabele Vitorio. “Being exposed to the science conducted at Argonne, and the women behind it, is inspiring. The resources and connections CUWiP provides aren’t found anywhere else.”
More than 50 Argonne scientists and engineers spent time connecting with the students in various activities during the conference.
“In 2020, only about 25% of all bachelor’s degrees in physics in the United States were awarded to women,” said Maria Żurek, a physicist at Argonne and co-organizer of the conference. “This year, more than 1,800 women undergraduate physics majors will attend a CUWiP event. It’s important for the success of women in physics to provide them with the opportunities to make connections and see the many physics-related career paths open to them.”
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.