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Paola Zanella Wins Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition

Reduce the risk of helicopter accidents. Predict how an oil spill will play out. Find a new alternative to lithium batteries. Could you explain how to do any of these in three minutes?

On Nov. 14, 18 Ph.D. students and one master’s student took on the challenge of explaining these topics and others during the final round of Georgia Tech’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. 

First prize and a $2,000 research travel grant went to Paola Zanella, a doctoral student in Aerospace Engineering, for her presentation, “Mitigation of Helicopter Accidents Related to Loss of Tail Rotor Effectiveness.”

Additional awards were given to the following students:  

  • Ph.D Second Place: Smruthi Karthikeyan, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Microbes, Oil Spills and Beyond: Using Microbes to Predict the Impact of Oil Spills
  • Ph.D. Third Place: Suttipong Suttapitugsakul, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Not Just A Sugar Coating! Understanding The Language Of Cells Through their Sweet Surface
  • Ph.D. People’s Choice Award: Jeongwon Kim, Mechanical Engineering, Suppression of Combustion Instability
  • Master’s Winner: Po-Wei Huang, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, A Sustainable Method to Alleviate the Global Thirst of Lithium

For more information about the 3MT Competition, visit

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  • 2019 3MT Winners

For More Information Contact

Tatianna Richardson
Office of Graduate Studies

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