Feb. 15, 2024

Three Minute Thesis winner announced


Marcel Roy Domalanta, a doctoral student in coatings and polymeric materials, was announced the champion of the NDSU Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis competition during the final round on Thursday, Feb. 15.

Domalanta’s presentation titled “Soy much better: Making non-stick materials stick” focused on his current research, which seeks to find a simple, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution to improve the adhesion and corrosion resistance of non-stick fluoropolymer coatings commonly used in non-stick cookware by using soybeans. Domalanta is advised by Eugene Caldona, NDSU assistant professor of coatings and polymeric materials. 

To conclude the competition, Domalanta was presented a $1,000 check and is invited to represent NDSU at the Western Association of Graduate Schools regional competition in March.

“It feels nice. It feels exciting being a part of this event and also at the same time, having the opportunity to talk about my research in the most general way to capture different people. I liked not just talking about the technical side, the science behind it, but also the fun part of it,” Domalanta said. 

In Three Minute Thesis, students are given three minutes to present their research clearly and concisely. A total of 38 students presented their research projects in the competition’s preliminary round, where six students were named finalists. Each finalist received $250. NDSU held its first Three Minute Thesis event in 2015.

In addition to the selection of the Three Minute Thesis champion, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business announced four students who earned Innovation Commendations, which include a $500 scholarship.

The award recognizes thesis works that focus on developing innovative technology and/or developing a creative solution to a major problem. It was established to further the Center's desire to spark creative problem-solving in economic, social, institutional and cultural environments. All participants were eligible for this award, judged by a panel of NDSU faculty and community entrepreneurs.

Winners are:

  • Mahek Sadiq, biomedical engineering, who presented “A Game Changer in Cancer Care.” Sadiq is advised by Danling Wang, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Preetham Ravi, materials and nanotechnology, who presented “Power of Superfoods - Nature Beats Cancer.” Ravi is advised by Kalpana Katti, distinguished professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. 
  • Kyle Boutin, environmental and conservation sciences, who presented “Harnessing the Power of Wetlands.” Boutin is advised by Marinus Otte, professor of biological sciences.
  • Amirreza Daghighi, biomedical engineering, who presented “Save Animals and the Environment,” Daghighi is advised by Bakhtiyor Rasulev, associate professor of coatings and ploymeric materials. 

Australia's University of Queensland developed the first Three Minute Thesis competition in 2008 and the concept has spread to institutions around the world.

Read more about this year’s six Three Minute Thesis finalists. 

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