First Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition

Event Date: April 7, 2017

Winners Finalists Judges Event Photos

Competition Winners

First Place: Philip Schneider

Phillip Schneider headshot.

PhD Program: Electrical Engineering

Advisor: Kwang Oh

Biography: Philip Schneider, co-founder, president and chief technology officer of La Salle Concepts, is currently pursuing his PhD in electrical engineering at the University at Buffalo. As a member of the University's Sensor and Micro-actuators Learning Lab, his current research includes the development of new health care related wearable technologies for point of care applications, the use of biometric technologies in the mobile consumer market and the creation of state-of-the-art test phantoms for medical sensor testing and validation.

Schneider has a true passion for bringing STEM to the local community. He is the founder of Project FIS, an ongoing effort to inspire and motivate underrepresented students in the field of STEM through hands on, high energy, interactive science experiments. In addition, he mentors a FIRST Robotics team at Saint Joseph's Collegiate Institute and is part of the Westminster Charter School initiative, where he teaches science classes to Kindergarden through second graders. He aspires to be a successful business owner bridging his backgrounds in science and technology with his business acumen to directly contribute to the economic resurgence in the Western New York region.

Second Place: Danielle Twum

Danielle Twum headshot.

PhD Program: Microbiology and Immunology (Roswell Park)

Advisor: Scott Abrams

Biography: Danielle Twum, originally from Ghana, West Africa, is currently a graduate student studying the immune response in cancer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts in biology from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, where she studied the effect of climate change on corals. After her she completes her PhD, Danielle is hoping to bring science to the general public by coming up with more exciting ways to explain complex scientific concepts in order to demystify the mysteries that surround science and make it more approachable to the layperson.

Third Place: Mohammad Hossein Ansari

Mohammad Hossein Ansari headshot.

PhD Program: Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: M. Amin Karami

Biography: Mohammad Hossein ("Hooman") Ansari, originally from Iran, is a PhD candidate in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, with research interests in vibration and energy harvesting. He earned his master's degree from UB in 2017 and is expected to graduate from the PhD program in June, 2018. He has worked on shoe energy harvesters and pacemaker energy harvesters as part of his research, where he has two patents. He is currently working on finishing his PhD and increasing his publications. He plans to start his own company in the future.

People's Choice: Saeede Eftekhari

Saeede Eftekhari headshot.

PhD Program: Management Science and Systems

Advisor: Ramaswamy Ramesh

Biography: Saeede Eftekhari is a PhD candidate in UB's Management Science and Systems program. She has particular interests in health care analytics and the economics of health information technologies. Her dissertation is focused on examining the impact of the health information technologies implemented in the U.S. health care system on the quality and cost of medical care. She earned a master's degree and a BSc in industrial engineering from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. In addition to research, she enjoys teaching.