Fifth Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition

Event Date: March 5, 2021

Winners Finalists Judges Emcee

Competition Finalists

  • Devyani Jivani

    Department: Materials Design and Innovation

    Advisor: Olga Wodo

    Biography: Devyani Jivani is a materials and design innovation PhD candidate from Vadodara, India. In her research, Jivani uses computational tools to aid the acceleration in prediction of materials' properties based on their microstructure. She develops methods that allow for the extraction of distinctive structural, geometrical and topological features from microstructural images that correlate well with the material performance. Her research goal to enable acceleration of materials design and discovery to address the need of environmentally conscious materials with high performance. In her free time, Jivani likes to read, hike and play Pokémon Go. In the future she wants to work as a research scientist in the industry.

  • Olivia Licata

    Department: Materials Design and Innovation

    Advisor: Baishakhi Mazumder

    Biography: From Lockport, New York, Olivia Licata is a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials and Design Innovation. Licata's research includes both experimental and computational work. She uses atom probe tomography (APT) for materials characterization and applies statistical methods for data analysis. Her research focuses on atomic-level chemistry of material structures used in semiconductor devices. The goal of this research is to provide insights that will help improve the design process for semiconductor components. Licata enjoys many craft-related hobbies such as painting, knitting, scrapbooking and jewelry-making. Prior to the pandemic, she enjoyed bowling with friends, and attending concerts and musicals. After graduating, she would like to continue her work on materials for semiconductors at an innovative company.

  • Ronak Mehrabi

    Department: Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

    Advisor: Kamelia Atefi-Monfared

    Biography: Ronak Mehrabi is from Tehran, Iran. As a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, the focus of her research is on advancing this nature-inspired soil improvement technology through development of predictive numerical models and laboratory-scale experiments. Her research goal is to contribute toward the sustainability and resiliency of geo-infrastructures through multidisciplinary research, and to work toward carbon dioxide emission free construction. In her free time Mehrabi enjoys jogging. In the future she wants to work in academia.

  • Sarah Metcalfe

    Department: Oral Biology

    Advisor: Jason Kay

    Biography: From Elmira, New York, Sarah Metcalfe is an oral biology PhD candidate. Her research focuses on the immune system in the oral cavity and how the body reacts to bacteria that live in our mouths. Through her research, she hopes to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the immune system and the resident, and find new strategies to prevent and manage periodontitis and related conditions. Metcalfe has spent time living and working in Olean, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio. She is a member of the International Association of Dental Research/American Association of Dental Research, Society of Leukocyte Biology, and the American Society of Microbiology. When she’s not in the lab, Metcalfe enjoys bird watching, hiking, stargazing and calligraphy. In the future, she hopes to continue her research of complex infectious diseases, first by getting a post-doctoral fellowship, and then leading a groundbreaking scientific team.

  • Jennifer Mongiovi

    Department: Epidemiology and Environmental Health

    Advisor: Kirsten Moysich

    Biography: From Ballston Lake, New York, Jennifer Mongiovi is an epidemiology and environmental health PhD candidate. In her research, she uses SEER-Medicare data and ovarian cancer tissue samples from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to evaluate the potential for improved survival through targeting the pathophysiological mechanisms of metabolic syndrome in ovarian cancer progression. Mongiovi is a member of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the American Association for Cancer Research. In her free time, she enjoys connecting with other members of the scientific and local community but on the weekends, you’ll either find her in the kitchen or strolling Elmwood with her cat. In the future, Mongiovi hopes to become a cancer epidemiology independent investigator.

  • Shreya Mukherjee

    Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Advisor: Gang Wu

    Biography: From Howrah, India, Shreya Mukherjee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Her research is focused on looking at the state-of-the-art catalyst for conversion of ammonia into hydrogen in the refueling station to make it commercial. The goal of her research is to reduce COx emissions in electric cars by reducing the use of conventional fossil fuels by using hydrogen instead. Mukherjee is a member of the Society of Engineers. In her free time, Mukherjee enjoys singing, drawing and public speaking. In the future, Mukherjee hopes to become a research engineer.

  • Kazi Md Mahabubur Rahman

    Department: Pharmaceutical Sciences

    Advisor: Youngjae You

    Biography: From Dhaka, Bangladesh, Kazi Md Mahabubur Rahman is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In his research, Rahman is working on developing prodrug chemotherapy that can be activated in the tumor with the help of a laser to treat bladder cancer. His research goal is threefold: to treat bladder cancer without the harmful side effects of chemotherapy; prevent recurrences and minimize healthcare costs; and improve the quality of the patient life. Outside of the lab, Rahman’s favorite hobby is photography. In the future, Rahman wants to work on research and develop an efficient treatment for various cancers.

  • Behnoosh Sattari Baboukani

    Department: Materials Design and Innovation

    Advisor: Prathima Nalam

    Biography: Behnoosh Sattari Baboukani is a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation from Isfahan, Iran. Her research focuses on generating a fundamental understanding of tribological behavior of two-dimensional materials to enable them to be used as friction-reducing additives in oil-based lubrication. Sattari Baboukani’s research goal is to develop novel lubricants for engines using the advanced material design approaches. These approaches will be employed to discover novel structures for the additives and to generate a fundamental understanding of their frictional behavior. Her hobbies include playing chess, making puzzles, photography and baking. Following the completion of her PhD, she planned to stay in academia and continue her research as a faculty in the fields of surface science and engineering-materials science.