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CBE wins awards at 2018 Ohio State Materials Week

More than a hundred student and postdoctoral researchers at The Ohio State University came together to share their work in materials-allied fields with several hundred faculty, researchers and visitors from around the world at a two-day series of forums and poster sessions during 2018 OSU Materials Week, a technical conference held May 8 to 11. The goal is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and celebrate developments in materials-allied research.

Participants included Ohio State students, faculty and researchers from Ohio State's departments of materials science and engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, biomedical engineering, or chemical and biomolecular engineering. Scientists from Cornell University, the University of Glasgow, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Honda Research Institute also participated.

Materials week offers focus sessions on cutting-edge research topics and organizes two popular competitions: the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) and Poster Sessions.

The poster sessions provide undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio State an opportunity to share their work and receive feedback from professors and students of varying disciplines. Researchers are allowed five minutes to present their research. Presentations are followed by a five-minute question-and-answer session between small groups of judges and each presenter.

3MT challenged five Ohio State students who had been selected in a prior competition to effectively communicate a distilled, compelling thesis and its significance to an audience outside their specific scholarly focus in three minutes or less. 

Student Poster Competition Winners

Sourabh Nadgouda receives award from Bruce McPheronSourabh Nadgouda receives award from Bruce McPheronIn the Student Poster Competition, ten students were selected for the Top 10 Student Poster Award. Awards were presented by Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron. Deeksha JainDeeksha JainCBE students who won in this category were:  Sourabh Nadgouda (Advisor: Liang-Shih Fan); Deeksha Jain (Advisors: Umit Ozkan and Anne Co); and Saurabh Ailawar (Advisor: Umit Ozkan). Saurabh also won a Student Poster Award in 2017. He was not able to be present to accept his award.

Three-Minute Thesis Competition Winner

Ohio State student researchers also competed in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition.  Students have exactly three minutes to explain their dissertation with just one static slide as an accompaniment, to the hundreds of Materials Week attendees.

The competition was originally founded and registered by the University of Queensland (Australia). External groups host their own 3MT events with permission. IMR has hosted a 3MT competition for the last 10 years.

The 2018 Materials Week 3MT top prize went to Brelong May in the department of materials science. 

May honed his communication skills during his graduate work at Ohio State. As an engineer, he said, the ability to translate one’s work from lab to layperson is integral, especially when seeking funding opportunities.

“You are going to have to communicate your work to someone who has money, and the person who has that money typically isn’t an engineer. So, being able to communicate your work, at that basic level, is very important,” May said.

Aamena Parulkar receives Three Minute Thesis First Place Runner UpAamena Parulkar receives Three Minute Thesis First Place Runner UpCBE's Aamena Parulkar (Advisor: Nicholas Brunelli) was named 3-Minute Thesis Runner Up for her thesis, "Enhancing Hydrophobicity of Catalysts." Watch Aamena give a clear and concise explanation of how catalysis works by using an analogy from "Popeye the Spinach Man."

Aamena Parulkar's Three Minute Thesis slideAamena Parulkar's Three Minute Thesis slide

Last year, CBE's Matt Souva won first place for his 2017 3MT presentation, "High Throughput Block Copolymer Nanoparticle Assembly Methods and Morphologies."

Souva said distilling his research for a general audience was good practice that helped him with his job search. 

“That kind of thinking wasn’t an everyday thing for me, and it couldn’t have come at a better time: I was close to finishing my dissertation and starting my job search. The fall engineering career fair and subsequent interviews were great places to use my newest communication skill,” Souva said. “My 3MT talk was easy to adapt and use as a baseline explanation of my research. Practicing that kind of general-language approach made something very specific seem manageable to newcomers.”

While at Ohio State, Souva's advisors were Jessica Winter and Barbara Wyslouzil.

IMR Innovation Awards

Professor Liang-Shih Fan won one of two "Most Invention Disclosures Filed" awards, and the only "Most Patents Filed" award.

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The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) serves as the gateway to the materials research enterprise at The Ohio State University. Established in early 2006 as a campus-wide, multidisciplinary institute, it works with Ohio State colleges and departments to coordinate existing and planned materials research activities, facilities and investments across campus to create and sustain a community of multidisciplinary materials researchers eliminating traditional discipline-driven boundaries and leveraging Ohio State's diverse strengths.