Graduate students to present research, compete for prize money in annual Shaheen Three Minute Thesis competition

Joseph Gonzales 5

Congratulations to Joseph Gonzales on his selection as a finalist in this year's Shaheen Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. As an undergraduate student at the University of Notre Dame, Gonzales received a Vincent P. Slatt Fellowship for Undergraduate Research in Energy Systems and Processes in 2018 for his research project titled, "Development of Chemical Anti-Icing Coating for Use on Wind Turbines" in the laboratory of Hirotaka Sakaue, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. 

Nine University of Notre Dame graduate students will compete for $4,500 in prize money during the annual Shaheen Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at 5 p.m. Wednesday (March 1) in Jordan Auditorium at the Mendoza College of Business on campus. The event is open to the public.

Sponsored by the Graduate School, Graduate Student Government and the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development, 3MT is an academic competition that challenges graduate students to explain their research to a broad audience in three minutes or less, offering alumni, industry partners, various on-campus departments/institutes and the broader community the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research at Notre Dame.

“To communicate complicated ideas in a way that is both engaging and effective — that is a tremendously important skill for any researcher,” said Tom Fuja, professor of electrical engineering, interim vice president and associate provost for graduate studies and interim dean of the Graduate School. “To have impact requires not just having great ideas but explaining those ideas to people who may not have the same experience or expertise as you — to get them excited about what you’ve done. The Shaheen 3MT competition is a wonderful opportunity for our graduate students to develop and demonstrate that skill.”

This year’s finalists are Isaac Angera (science), Alex Boomgarden (science), Sara Chan (arts and letters), Mariama S. Dampha (Keough School of Global Affairs), Joseph Gonzales (engineering), Janeala Morsby (science), Ryan Posh (engineering), Hannah Resnick (arts and letters) and Sabrina Volponi (engineering).

The judges are Fuja; Sarah Wright, senior scientist for vaccine analytical research and development at Merck; K. Matthew Dames, the Edward H. Arnold Dean of the Hesburgh Libraries; South Bend Mayor James Mueller; and Elliott Visconsi, associate professor of English, associate provost and chief academic digital officer at Notre Dame.

Lou Nanni, vice president for University relations at Notre Dame, will serve as emcee.

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on February 24, 2023.