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Two IU Chemistry Ph.D. Candidates are Recipients of the 2023 Indiana University, Bloomington Three Minute Thesis Competition

February 22, 2023

Congratulations to IU Department of Chemistry Ph.D. candidates Nabojit Kar (Skrabalak Group) and Mohammad Azhar Mehfooz (Zaleski Group), award recipients of the 2023 Indiana University, Bloomington Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT). The 3MT is a research communication competition founded by the University of Queensland in 2008. The competition challenges master's and doctoral students to present a compelling oration on their thesis or dissertation research and its significance to a general audience in just three minutes.  IU Bloomington, which hosts its annual 3MT competition each spring, joins over 900 universities worldwide that host local 3MT events. 
Kar received First Place for his entry entitled, “Alloy Nanoparticles for Sustainable Energy where he discussed the potential for alloys to be used beyond their traditional application in kitchen utensils and automobile frames, specifically in cleaning up the environment.  Kar’s research with the Skrabalak Group and IU Chemistry involves high entropy allow nanoparticle that are to be used in various applications such as fuel cell catalysis, carbon-di-oxide reduction, and energy storage.  
A $500 stipend was awarded to Kar at the final competition as chosen by a panel of judgesHe will now advance to compete at the 3MT competition of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS), which will be held on March 31, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. 
Kar states, “I am deeply grateful to the judges for selecting me as a winner. I also want to thank my professors and my parents, whose encouragement has been invaluable. I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to represent IU in the upcoming 2023 MAGS 3MT competition. 
The People’s Choice Award of $250, selected by audience ballot, was presented to Mehfooz for his entry entitled, “Fighting Bacteria with Gold”. His thesis focuses on the global impact of rising instances of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the methods to counter it. As a member of the Zaleski Researc Group, his research involves the development of a nanoparticle-based approach in selectively targeting and eliminating gram-negative bacteria. 
Mehfooz states, “I am extremely grateful to the audience who found my talk interesting and voted for me. I am glad I was able to present my research to a very diverse audience and I am looking forward to more opportunities like this in the future. 
The Department of Chemistry congratulates Mr. Kar and Mr. Mehfooz for these achievements. Our Department seeks to provide outstanding professional skills development opportunities to our graduate students.