3MT: Three Minute Thesis

3MT Final Competition

Name Major Title
Carolyn Reinhart *** Mathematics Graphs and Matrices: Modeling the World with Math
Aishwarya Sriraman ** Materials Science and Engineering Monitoring cable health to ensure nuclear power plant safety
Eleanor Field * Entomology Understanding West Nile virus trends: mosquito biology across seasons
Jinji Pang Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine Microbiota-based Intervention for Preharvest Control of Foodborne Pathogen
Madhusudan Vijayakumar Aerospace Engineering Space Debris Removal Mission Design
Mark Bollom Food Science & Technology Development of novel bigel to encapsulate probiotics and potentially improve probiotic survival
Yuderka Trinidad Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering Man vs Nature: Predicting Landslides
Alexander Volkov Chemistry Covalent Organic Frameworks

* 1st Place Award
** 2nd Place Award
*** People's Choice Award

Guest Judges

Dr. David Barker, member of the Board of Regents – State of Iowa, is a partner in Barker Companies, a real estate enterprise. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago, and his scholarship in academic journals has been highlighted in Time magazine, The New York Times, and The Economist. Dr. Barker holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and was an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He serves on the Governor of Iowa's Rural Empowerment Initiative and is an honorary Colonel of the Iowa State Militia.

Dr. Jessica Horowitz serves as Director of Academic Relations (North America) for ProQuest Dissertation Publishing. In this role, Dr. Horowitz advocates for students and faculty at institutions like Iowa State University that engage with ProQuest for making the scholarship in theses and dissertations accessible worldwide. Previously, Dr. Horowitz served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Loyola University Chicago, and she has a long record of activity and leadership in the Council of Graduate Schools and the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools.

Ms. Becky Stadlman served as Global HR Parner for the IT, finance, procurement, and sales and marketing departments of Danfoss, a privately owned Danish company with a global reach. Becky supported global management across North America, Europe and Asia. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Iowa State University Foundation, and a graduate of Iowa State University.

In the fall of each year, the Graduate College sponsors a Three-Minute Thesis Competition to challenge Iowa State graduate students to clearly and concisely articulate their research to a non-specialist audience. Participants are provided three minutes and one static slide to convey their message. Each year, there are approximately 80 participants in eight preliminary heats and the final event consisted of a winner representing each heat. Timelines and guidelines for the 3MT are listed below. Enjoy the videos of award winners’ presentations or the entire final competition.

Participation Timeline

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What is 3MT?

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Judging Criteria

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Presentation Feedback

For feedback on your 3MT slide or the speech you are planning to incorporate into your 3MT presentation, please make an appointment with a writing consultant at the Center for Communication Excellence.


3MT Committee (3mtcompetition@iastate.edu):
Sarah Huffman
Denise Vrchota
Judy Strand
Misty Treanor

Special thanks to following people who provided additional help with the event:

Technology support: Jack Polifka, Graduate College
Event promotion: Sarah Igram, Graduate College
3MT Final Heat filming: Eric Krueger and tech staff, Iowa State University Brenton Center

2019 3MT winners

Winner: Eleanor Field

Major: Entomology

Presentation: Understanding West Nile virus trends: mosquito biology across seasons

Runner Up: Aishwarya Sriraman

Major: Materials Science and Engineering

Presentation: Monitoring cable health to ensure nuclear power plant safety

People’s Choice Award: Carolyn Reinhart

Major: Mathematics

Presentation: Graphs and Matrices: Modeling the World with Math

Video of the Whole Event

Thank you to all the volunteers (3MT committee, judges, time keepers, door keepers, and food set up people) that made the Three-Minute Thesis competition possible!

Past 3MT Winners