News & Media

UW-Platteville student researchers recognized for communications skills in WiSys Quick Pitch

PLATTEVILLE— Two UW-Platteville student researchers were recognized for their research communication skills during the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Platteville on April 25.

The student "pitch" competition challenges UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public. Participants have three minutes to impress a panel of judges with their pitch.

Sophomore Will Straka won the first-place prize of $300 for the presentation “Impact of Anti-Icing Solutions on Concrete Durability.” 

Straka’s faculty advisor was UW-Platteville Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering Dr. Danny Xiao.

The second-place prize of $125 went to sophomore Parker Stork for the presentation “Smart Grid Research.” Stork’s faculty advisor was UW-Platteville associate professor Computer Science and Software Engineering Dr. Yanwei Wu.

The judges for this competition were:

  • Dr. Phillip J. Parker, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, UW-Platteville.
  • John Fick, EDA University Center Coordinator, UW-Platteville.
  • Dr. Jodi McDermott, Assistant Dean for Student Services, UW-Platteville.


As a nonprofit organization supporting research, innovation and entrepreneurship at Wisconsin’s regional public universities, WiSys set out to develop a program to incentivize and train student researchers to share their work to a lay audience including the public, mentors and policymakers.

WiSys first piloted the program at UW-Eau Claire in 2015. Since then, the program has been expanded to 10 other UW System institutions. The winners from the institutional competitions compete at the statewide finals held at WiSys’ annual summer symposium. Through the program, more than 80 students receive research communication training and experience each year. Nearly 500 UW System student researchers have participated since 2015.

The program’s objectives include:

  • Encouraging student researchers to recognize the value of their work.
  • Providing students tools for effectively communicating their research to the public without jargon.
  • Highlighting the depth and breadth of student research taking place at public universities.
  • Promoting information sharing to create new opportunities or collaborations.
  • Celebrating student work and accomplishments.

For more information about the WiSys Quick Pitch Program, visit

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.