Research Presentations and Visualization General Information

Engineering Research Symposium Overview (undergraduate and graduate)

Poster sessions are College-level competitions across all Departments/Programs for students. These sessions are intended to highlight the research achievements demonstrated by our students. The focus of the sessions will be on communication of the participants’ work to a non-expert engineering audience.

Students of all disciplines may self-select into the Undergraduate or Graduate (Emerging or Advanced Research Competition and/or Scientific Visualization) based on their individual circumstances. 

Undergraduate Research Exhibition

The Undergraduate Exhibition is open to all undergraduate students. The session is non-competitive and will not be judged. Click here for registration, poster template and submission.                         

Graduate Research Competitions 

Graduate students can compete in one of the two research poster competitions: 

  • Emerging Research Competition Criteria: The Emerging Research competition is intended for Master’s and Ph.D. students who are in the first 2 years of study.  
  • Advanced Research Competition Criteria: The Advanced Research Competition is intended for Ph.D. students who are in years 3-5 or entered the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree.

A committee of postdoctoral judges will assess the abstracts and select the top scoring entries to invite to the competitions. All invited presenters will qualify to win awards in one of four categories (Science Communication, Engineering Innovation, Social Impact and Fundamental Research) with awards going to the highest-scoring posters from each category. The judges are faculty and alumni who will be invited from all disciplines of engineering.

Click here for Emerging and Advanced Research Competition registration, abstract and poster submission information.

Please note, the Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research is a separate graduate student oral and poster competition. Click here for nomination and submission information.

Graduate Scientific Visualization Competition 

The Scientific Visualization Contest is intended to be a visual record of the aesthetic and science of the diversified research done at U-M, to be shared both with fellow researchers and the general public. Four finalists will compete for the Best Visualization Award. Movies/animations are judged by overall quality, how they illuminate science, and for creative innovations in the movie production process.

There will also be live displays throughout the Symposium so that attendees can enjoy the latest in science and engineering results expressed through state-of-the-art visualization technologies. Please direct questions about this contest to

Submissions need to include a movie (up to 1GB in size). Each submission will be reviewed by the Visualization Showcase Committee. Please note that the Scientific Visualization Contest is not a venue for technical posters.

Criteria for review include:

  • How effective is the visual communication of the data?
  • What engineering innovation is showcased in  the visualization?
  • What is the impact of the science story and how well is it told?
  • What visualization techniques were necessary to create the movie?

After accepted authors present their work, a committee will select a submission for the Best Visualization Award. A monetary prize will be presented to the winner during the Awards Reception.

Click here for registration and scientific visualization submission information.