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Submissions to the "Science as Art" 2017 competition brought together scientists and the KAUST community to appreciate the beauty in laboratory images. Photo courtesy of MRS student chapter.
By Caitlin Clark, KAUST News
According to Albert Einstein, "After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well."
Over 25 KAUST students and postdoctoral fellows had the chance to bring Einstein's words to life during the University's "Science as Art 2017" competition on October 18. Sponsored by the KAUST student chapter of the Materials Research Society (MRS) and supported by Graduate Services - Events & Recreation, the competition showcased artistic research images produced from the lab work of participants with the images acting as a unique connection between scientists, artists and the general public.
KAUST students, postdoctoral fellows and the University community enjoyed the laboratory images on display for the "Science as Art" 2017 competition on October 18. Photo courtesy of MRS student chapter.
"The 2017 competition was the second held at KAUST. The MRS student chapter plans to hold the event annually," noted Husam Alshareef, KAUST professor of material science and engineering and the faculty advisor for the chapter.
"Science as Art" takes place on a larger scale each year at the MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
"I've been participating in the competition in Boston for years, and some of our students have also submitted their work to it this year," Alshareef said. "The KAUST competition helped students learn about each other's research in a visually appealing and entertaining way, and it brought members of our student chapter together for a fun event, enhancing their social interaction. It also excited the students about their own research by enabling them to look at it from very different angles."
Jasmin Smajic, a KAUST Ph.D. student from the group of Assistant Professor Pedro Da Costa and the current president of the MRS student chapter, organized the competition with the help of the chapter's officers.
"I like both science and art, and I felt the competition was a golden opportunity to show off our students' work," Smajic said. "Science and art are seen as opposites, yet we challenged people to look at science from an artistic point of view. This made students look beyond their science research, which is crucial to narrowing the gap between the scientific community and the general populace—and the competition also helped the community learn about research on campus in a fun way."
The competition's first place winner was Daniel Corzo, a Ph.D. student in the KAUST Solar Center, for his work entitled "Dark Needles."
KAUST Ph.D. student Daniel Corzo won first place in the "Science as Art" 2017 competition for his work entitled “Dark Needles.” Photo courtesy of Daniel Corzo.
"The image showcased methylammonium lead iodide perovskite crystals grown in needle-like fashion clashing with each other and forming patterns as if they were trying to express emotions of their own," Corzo said. "Having your laboratory work portrayed as a piece of art is a good way to show off beauty that oftentimes goes unnoticed."
Competition first-place winner Daniel Corzo's work "showcased methylammonium lead iodide perovskite crystals grown in needle-like fashion clashing with each other and forming patterns as if they were trying to express emotions of their own,” he said. Photo courtesy of MRS student chapter.
Master's degree student Ahmed Al-Brahim from the KAUST High-Speed Fluids Imaging Laboratory won second place for his work entitled "The motion traces of 15,000 bubbles."
Competition second-place winner Ahmed Al Brahim's work showed "the result of tracking over 15,000 bubbles’ motion in a hele-shaw cell,” he said. Photo courtesy of MRS student chapter.
"The image was the result of tracking over 15,000 bubbles' motion in a hele-shaw cell," he said. "The colors in the image represent the velocity with the bubbles, with blue lines for low bubble velocity and yellow lines for high velocity. Wining second place in the competition that featured many incredible works of art was a great honor. I hope the competition will inspire the creation of more amazing scientific art."
Ph.D. student Amira Alazmi won fourth place for her lab image entitled "Nano Nefertiti." Photo courtesy of MRS student chapter.
Ph.D. student Nitinkumar Batra won fifth place for his lab image entitled "Micro pancake (dosa)." Photo courtesy of MRS student chapter.
For more information on the KAUST MRS student chapter, visit mrschapter.kaust.edu.sa.