3MT competition helps graduate students more effectively share their research

Moala Keshei Bannavti has firsthand experience with PCBs in schools.

"I grew up in a town with a lot of underrepresented minorities, and we were all from low-income families," she says. She and her classmates went to an old school with air that likely had high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), an invisible but common compound that she didn't realize can cause an array of health problems until she became a graduate student at the Iowa College of Engineering.

"They can cause cancer, disrupt hormones, they're just horrible, and they're found in the air everywhere," she says.

To help schools identify and inexpensively remove materials that cause PCBs from their older buildings, Keshei Bannavti is developing a targeted materials-remediation plan as a civil and environmental engineering doctoral student. The research captured first place in the Graduate College's annual Three Minute Thesis competition earlier this month.

The 3MT competition helps graduate students learn how to articulate their often complex and complicated research to non-experts clearly and concisely in three minutes or less. That isn't always easy for grad students, most of whom have been taught to go into great depth and speak with a certain language that a non-academic, and sometimes even an academic from another field, may not understand.

To view these students click here: https://uiowa.meritpages.com/achievements/3MT-competition-helps-graduate-students-more-effectively-share-their-research/128510