Information for Judges

The Jacobs School of Engineering is looking to recruit engineering alumni and friends of the Jacobs School to serve as graduate student poster judges at Research Expo 2017.

Research Expo judges provide an important service to our graduate students: opportunities for face time with industry professionals. These interactions require our students to practice the art of communicating their research to technical, yet non-specialist audiences.

At the same time, judging posters is a great way for judges to connect with future technology leaders while getting a broad view of research trends from a wide range of cutting edge labs at the Jacobs School.

The Role of our Judges

If you're considering the volunteer judge position for the first time or you're one of our returning participants – welcome! We are excited as you are to see what the students will have to present this year. Please review the following information to have a better sense of our judges time commitment in advance and on the day of the Expo.

  1. Judge registration is free, but required.
  2. We ask that judges either
    1. hold a PhD in engineering (or a related field) or
    2. hold a bachelor's degree in engineering and have 10+ years related industry experience.
  3. Each judge is assigned 5-8 student posters to review.
  4. Ten days before Research Expo, you will receive an email with your student poster assignments and links to poster abstracts online. We ask that judges preview the abstracts online in advance of their arrival the day of the event.
  5. On the day of Research Expo, judges visit each of their assigned posters and interact with the student presenter.

The Judging Process

Judges will evaluate student poster presentations based on four major criteria (see 2016 Judging form as an example). Criteria are related to each student's ability to clearly communicate the significance of their work. For example:

  • The student's opening 2-minute oral presentation: is it well-prepared and concise? Does it provide a good synopsis of the significance of the research, results, and possible future applications?
  • Student's response to questions. Are they insightful? Do answers contribute to your overall understanding of the research?
  • Is the poster well organized and visually appealing?
  • Does the poster communicate the significance and relevance of the results?

Your Impact

Our students often tell us that their interactions with poster judges change the way they think about their projects. You have the opportunity to provide new and helpful perspectives on their research. At the same time, you provide Jacobs School graduate students with valuable practice at communicating their work to technical, non-specialists.

Feedback from each poster judge helps to determine the recipient of the Departmental Best Poster prize, presented to one student from each of our six departments.

One departmental prize winner will receive Research Expo's highest award, the Rudee Outstanding Poster Award, named in honor of the Jacobs School founding Dean Lea Rudee.

Make the most of the afternoon

After your judging duties are finished (most judges are finished in an hour), you are encouraged to visit some of the other 200+ posters.

Attend the 20-minute faculty talks, which are focused on industry-relevant research.

Stay for the networking reception and awards ceremony. You'll have the opportunity to network with faculty, students, and other alumni and industry professionals.

Judge's Schedule

Thursday, April 20, 2017

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Park / Shuttle / Registration
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch / Judges Briefing
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Poster Judging
In addition to the time commitment above, we invite you to participate in
all of the day's events including faculty talks and networking reception.
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM Faculty Technical Talks / Poster Viewing
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Awards and Reception

The Research Expo fee is waived for our judges. Please complete your registration to confirm your availability to serve as a poster judge by Friday, March 31, 2017. A confirmation of your Judge's registration will arrive within 24 hours and please check your email regularly for additional details on the Expo as we approach the event date.


Please contact Joe Cribari at

Click here to read about the recipient of the 2016 Rudee Outstanding Poster award and other extraordinary research that appear at last year's event!