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LSU Student Designs Material for International Conference

Housed in a 45,000-square-foot building located on a 15-acre site nearly five miles away from the LSU campus, the LSU J. Bennett Johnston Sr. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, or CAMD, is a high-tech synchrotron-radiation facility that provides equipment, expertise and infrastructure for research and development in the areas of material, biological and environmental sciences and in micro and nano device fabrication.


LSU student and New Orleans native Sarah Lisotta's design was chosen for the IPAC 12 conference, which is coming to Louisiana in 2012.

In May 2012, particle accelerator scientists from all around the world will descend on New Orleans for the third annual International Particle Accelerator Conference, or IPAC 12, which CAMD is helping organize. The previous two conferences were held in Japan and Spain.

Particle accelerators give high energy to subatomic particles, and propel the energized particles into one another or other targets. The collision relies on detectors to record the interaction of the particles, which physicists use to determine their properties – something that gives insight to some of the smallest particles known to man.

In an attempt to create a unique look for the conference, researchers at CAMD approached the LSU College of Art + Design about creating the printed material for the conference.

Larry Livaudais, instructor of art, design and digital imaging in the LSU School of Art, frequently includes design competitions in his courses and after looking into the conference, jumped on the opportunity.

“I am always on alert for service learning projects that have the ability to excite and engage students at a creative and intellectual level while providing as much real-world experience as possible,” Livaudais said.

The service learning project was set up as an in-class competition. CAMD’s Assistant Director for Administration Craig Stevens presented the project to Livaudais’ ART 4526: Prepress Production Techniques, including the purpose of CAMD and the IPAC 12 conference and the goals and objectives for the competition. Stevens wanted the artwork to emphasize the art and culture of New Orleans.

“This will be the first International Particle Accelerator Conference in the U.S., so there is a great deal of anticipation and excitement about it happening in New Orleans,” Stevens said.

While most communication from CAMD was relayed through Livaudais, the students were given a tour of the CAMD facility and encouraged to do their own research. Some students traveled to New Orleans to photograph areas of the city.

“The designs we saw from this class were all first rate,” Stevens said. “I have to admit that I thought there would be a few to choose from but all the students had some great ideas.  It was very difficult to make the final choice.”

While the final choice may have been difficult, the artwork chosen was the blaring trumpet design created by New Orleans native Sarah Lisotta.

Lisotta liked the freedom of doing the competition as a class project, which – according to her – meant she could start something and move back to scratch if she wasn’t pleased.

“My idea was simple and fun, but I started off with something much more concrete … and less fun,” Lisotta said.

Like all the students, Lisotta created a poster, brochure, postcard and website mock up. All featured her trumpet design with the names of IPAC 12 committees bursting from the end.

She saw the trumpet as a way to convey the music and color of New Orleans.

“It was a way to express the experience of the French Quarter and the feel of New Orleans in a fun way,” Lisotta said.

Aside from having her work featured at an international conference, the real-world experience of working with a client was useful to Lisotta.

“It’s that process of breaking down, editing and editing again. It reminded me that graphic design wasn’t just what I wanted to do, but what the client wants also,” Lisotta said.

The merging of talent from LSU’s College of Art + Design with CAMD created a unique image for IPAC 12. For more information on CAMD, visit http://www.camd.lsu.edu/. For more information about IPAC 12 and to see Lisotta’s designs, visit http://www.ipac12.org/.