Four students earn Innovation Commendations
February 15, 2024

Four graduate students were presented with an Innovation Commendation at the 3MT Live Championship Round held in the Anishinaabe Theater at the Memorial Union on Thursday. The commendation is new to the Three Minute Thesis competition this year and it is sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business.  

The Innovation Commendation was established to further the Center’s initiative to spark creative problem-solving in economic, social, institutional and cultural environments. All 3MT participants were assessed on their thesis work for creativity, innovation, and its ability to be commercialized to solve a major problem. Each recipient of the award will receive a $500 scholarship.

Below are the Innovation Commendaton winners.

Name: Mahek Sadiq
Hometown: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Area of study: biomedical engineering
Presentation title: “A Game Changer in Cancer Care.”

Judge’s comments:
“Mahek Sadiq’s engaging delivery reduced a complex and cross-disciplinary approach for cancer detection to a simple and attainable concept, all in under 3 minutes. The nuanced changes in resistance identified by the chemiresistive sensors truly has the potential to save lives while the future of nanomaterial scaffold structures may help to rebuild them. Bravo, Mahek, you are a rising star and definitely one to watch!” – Michelle Berg | Member Board of Directors, JURA Bio, Inc.

Name: Preetham Ravi
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Area of study: materials and nanotechnology
Presentation title: “Power of Superfoods – Nature Beats Cancer.”

Judge’s Comments:
“Preetham is tackling a challenging problem – stage 4 breast cancer – in a novel, innovative, yet simple way. Preetham’s work has the potential to save lives and got my entire judging team really excited and optimistic about the future.” – Dr. Onnolee Nordstrom | NDSU Ozbun Chair of Entrepreneurship

Name: Kyle Boutin
Hometown: Spring Lake, Florida
Area of study: environmental and conservation sciences
Presentation title: “Harnessing the Power of Wetlands to Improve Water Quality and the Climate”

Judge’s Comments:
“Kyle’s work is tackling an important problem. By working to harness the power of the wetlands, Kyle is suggesting a unique way to improve water quality. Kyle’s solution is both simple and innovative, a combination that can help truly drive change in a way that is economically and environmentally feasible. I am a systems-thinker who gets really excited when I see projects like Kyle’s, projects that think about the interconnectedness of elements and the unintended consequences of interventions.” – Dr. Onnolee Nordstrom | NDSU Ozbun Chair of Entrepreneurship

Name: Amirreza Daghighi
Hometown: Iran
Area of study: biomedical engineering
Presentation title: “Save Animals and the Environment”

Judge’s Comments:
“Amirreza chose a problem that many people are passionate about, and they clearly articulated why their technology would be an improvement over current testing methods. Their solution creatively integrated deep knowledge of machine learning with principles of chemistry and life sciences. Over the course of the short presentation, the presenter effectively communicated their expertise in the subject matter in a way that helped inspire confidence in the next steps of their project.” – Zane Gernhart | Executive Director, NDSU Research Foundation