Georgia Tech Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Two from College of Sciences Are Finalists in 2017 Three Minute Thesis Competition

Kelly Michie and Linda Nhon join 11 others in explaining their research in three minutes

Editor's Note: This story is adapted from an article originally published by the Office of Graduate Studies

Figuring out how to help 6.5 million Americans who suffer from chronic wounds each year is a problem Kelly Michie has researched for years. Now she's facing another challenge — squeezing all of that research into a three-minute talk for the 2017 Georgia Tech Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Michie is one of two 3MT competition finalists from the College of Sciences. The other is Linda Nhon.

“The most difficult part of presenting in the 3MT event is explaining the scientific techniques simply and concisely,” said Michie, who is a Ph.D. student in the School of Biology under the guidance of Marvin Whiteley. “In my research, I attempt to identify the genes that allow certain bacteria to infect chronic wounds. But using jargon such as ‘Tn-Seq’ or the scientific name for the bacteria would be outside the expertise of my audience.

“With my research, I’m hoping to locate the genes that cause people to develop chronic wounds,” Michie said. “That will allow us to identify and treat individuals with those genes and save lives. I’m hoping to use the 3MT competition as an experience to better explain my findings to the people who would use them.”

Linda Nhon is a Ph.D. student in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry under the guidance of John Reynolds. She designs light-absorbing materials that convert carbon dioxide to fuel. "My personal goals for entering the 3MT competition was to explain my research in a way that allows people of nontechnical backgrounds to understand the work," Nhon said. In addition, she wants to improve her public-speaking skills and develop a presentation style that, she said, "is both comfortable for me as well as keeping the audience captivated with the talk."

The 3MT competition started at the University of Queensland in Australia and has spread to campuses around the world. The event challenges graduate students to explain their research in three minutes in a way that someone with no knowledge of the subject would understand. Two years ago, Georgia Tech held its first 3MT competition, which was only open to Ph.D. students. This year, master’s students are also participating.  

The Ph.D. finalists will compete for three prizes of up to $2,000. The master’s student finalists will compete for prizes of up to $1,000. Both groups will also compete for a $500 People’s Choice award.

In the 2016 competition, Pranav Kalelkar and Bharath Hebbe Madhusudhana, Ph.D. students respectively in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the School of Physics, were among the finalists.

Hebbe Madhusudhana placed third and was cowinner of the People's Choice award.

The final competition will be held on Monday, Nov. 13, at 5-8 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Winners will be announced during a reception that will immediately follow the last presentation. 

Following are the Ph.D. finalists: 

  • Rajatha Bhat, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Resilience of Electrical Networks Against Hurricanes
  • Rebecca Han, Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering
    Computational Prediction of Energy Materials
  • Jayraj Joshi, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Natural Gas Purification Using Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)
  • Arkadeep Kumar, Mechanical Engineering
    Novel Abrasives for Cheaper Solar Cells
  • Kelly Michie, Biology
    Gotta Screen ‘Em All: Discovering Bacterial Genes Required for Wound Infection
  • Krysten Minnici, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Battery Electrode Materials: Energizing the Future
  • Alexis Noel, Mechanical Engineering
    Grip, Grab, and Groom: Adhesion of Soft Biomaterials
  • Linda Nhon, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Artificial Photosynthesis: From Sunlight to Fuel
  • Sushruta Surappa, Mechanical Engineering
    Ultrasound Based Wireless Power
  • Jingting Yao, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Enhanced Diagnostic Cardiac Imaging with Lower Risks

Following are the master’s student finalists: 

  • Richard Li, Interactive Computing
    EarBit: Using Wearable Sensors to Detect Eating Episodes in Unconstrained Environments
  • Vedant Metha, Nuclear Engineering
    Boosting the Role of Nuclear Technology
  • HoRyun Song, Human Computer Interaction
    Conversation Between: Interactive Narrative for Molecular Scientists and Reproductive Justice Groups

For more information, visit

Group Photo Captions

Top (from left): Krysten Minnici, Jayraj Joshi, Alexis Noel, and Kelly Michie

Bottom (from left) Shushruta Surappa, Linda Nhon, Jingting Yao, and Rajatha Bhat

Related Media

Click on image(s) to view larger version(s)

  • Kelly Michie

  • Linda Nhon

  • 2017 3MT Finalists Round One

  • 2017 3MT Finalists Round Two

For More Information Contact

A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
Director of Communications
College of Sciences

Accessibility Information

Per accessibility compliance standards, this page may have links to files that would require the downloading of additional software:

  • Click here to download Microsoft Products.
  • Click here to download Adobe Reader.