Monday, July 20, 2015

Published Poster Critique

As requested, here’s my critique of a poster submitted a year ago from the REU in my position.  An image of the poster is attached, for reference. 


I understood the point of the research:  testing whether carbon-nanotube infused elastomers could “sense” damage by measuring electrical resistance.  The poster clearly stated the question and answered it in the progress section.


The title was short and to the point.  Although it didn’t mention “sensing” per se, it was enough information to keep my interests.  The body of the poster filled in the details. 


I’m naturally interested in carbon-nanotubes, so I would have stopped to read this poster anyway.  However, the poster didn’t address the need for sensing damage from a structural-health monitoring or cost/benefit perspective.  Although neat, I would have liked to have known why the research is necessary.

Approach, Results and Conclusions

I could generally follow the research outlined in the poster but I think an outsider would be confused if he/she didn’t already know what a strain-energy accumulator was or why it’s important.  Without that background, it’s not clear as to why a tensile test is even necessary. 

Layout, Graphics and Font

The poster’s layout was easy to follow – headers guide the reader from section to section, arranged left to right, top to bottom.  There is a good amount of white space throughout.

The font is actually a little inconsistent in some places – it’s not critical, but it might drive some picky readers crazy.  Overall though, it’s easy to read.

Most of the graphics are appropriate.  There are some exceptions:  specifically, the figure in the top-right is small, dense, and irrelevant.  The table and plot are appropriate and explained adequately.  I would have liked to have seen a picture of a strain-energy accumulator, for reference. 

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