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CESR'S Annual Poster Session for Research in Sustainability and Resilience

2024 Poster Session & Three Minute Thesis Competition

Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Poster Session: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Reception: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (Open to faculty, postdocs, and graduate students)

Willens Wing Atrium, Technological Institute B260

RSVP to Attend, and Reserve a Space for Your Poster

2024 Poster Session

Past Poster Sessions

Three Minute Thesis Competition


Join our showcase of research in sustainability and resilience at McCormick and around the university! Representatives from our fourth round Seed Grant project teams will be present to share their work with the CESR community, with our other teams invited to present as well.  Students and postdocs working on Seed Grant projects are eligible to represent their research teams at the event.  This is a great time to catch up on your colleagues' newest breakthroughs and find common connections.  

Faculty and students working outside of CESR's Seed Grant teams are also encouraged to submit posters for the event.  Receive feedback on ongoing projects, and find your next research collaborator from among the leading sustainability researchers at Northwestern.

Current Ph.D. students are also taking part in CESR's Three Minute Thesis competition, the winners of which will be announced at the poster session.  Submissions are now closed, and all entries can be viewed at the poster session.  See below for full details. 


CESR's Annual Poster Session for Research in Sustainability and Resilience Participants: JUNE 2023

CESR's Second Annual Poster Session for Research in Sustainability and Resilience brought our research community together on the afternoon of June 6th, 2023 to showcase a year of research advances.  Representatives of our second- and third-year Seed Grant teams updated their colleagues on the state of their projects, alongside a selection of additional posters.  

Posters Presented:

Critical Minerals Mining: Impacts on Sustainability and Sovereignty, Margaret O'Connell, Jenna Trost, Yilun Zhou, Abbie Draheim, Natalia Gutiérrez Rodríguez, and Jennifer Dunn

Effects of Electricity Market Design on the Composition of Low Carbon Power Grid, Mark Noll, Jongwhan Kwon, and Audun Botterud

Examining Resilience to Overlapping Hazards, Gretchen Bella, Emőke-Ágnes Horvát, and Amanda Stathopoulos

FSVPy: A python-based package for fluorescent streak velocimetry (FSV), Pamud Akalanka Bethmage, Han Lin, Brendan C. Blackwell, Michelle M. Driscoll, and Jeffrey J. Richards

Integration of Remote Sensing and Geomechanical Models for Natural Hazard Prediction, Benigno Alonzo Jr, Xiang Li, and Giuseppe Buscarnera

Manganese-Based Sponge Coatings for Critical Metals Recovery, Benjamin Shindel, Samuel Lombardo, Madison Polinski, Kelly Matuszewski, Vinayak Dravid, and Jean-François Gaillard

Nature-Inspired Enhanced Microplastics Capture and Digestion, Leyun Feng, Chloe Ho, Kyoo-Chul Park, and George Wells

SEACRET: Strengthening Electrochemically Any Coastal Region without Environmental Threats, Andony Landivar Macias, Steven D. Jacobsen, and Alessandro Rotta Loria

Single-Particle Tracking in Covalent Adaptable Networks, Christopher Rademacher, Muzhou Wang, Julia Kalow, and Viraj Kirinda

Stress Relaxation in Reprocessable Covalent Adaptable Networks, Kevin Considine, Claire Onsager, Mohammed bin Rusayyis, John Torkelson, and Matthew Grayson

Understanding Heat Transport Across Grain Boundaries Through High Resolution Imaging and Modeling, Eleonora Isotta, Shizou Jiang, Alexandra Zevalkink, G. Jeffrey Snyder, and Oluwaseyi Balogun

CESR's Annual Poster Session for Research in Sustainability and Resilience Participants: MAY 2022

CESR held its inaugural Poster Session for Research in Sustainability and Resilience on May 17th, bringing together representatives of all 13 Seed Grant teams and a large crowd of interested students and faculty from around the university for lively research discussions.  

Posters presented:

Multi-scale analysis of electrocatalytic reactor processes using a combined experimental and modeling approach, Linsey Seitz, Niall Mangan, Brianna Ruggiero, and Jithin George

Nature-Inspired Enhanced Microplastics Digestion- Capture and Biodegradation by Flexible Fibers with Attached Microorganisms, Kyoo-Chul Park, George Wells, and Leyun Feng

Sensing Material Properties as Nature Intends, James Hambleton, Simge Küçükyavuz, and Anastasia Nally

Towards a Circular Bioeconomy: Recovery of Nitrogen as a Value-Added Product from Farm Animal Manure, George Wells, Keith Tyo, Rashmi Raj, and McKenna Farmer

What is the air quality and CO2 impact of an electric vehicle transition?, Adilson Motter, Daniel Abrams, and Daniel Horton

Community Vulnerability Index: Examining resilience to overlapping hazards, Amanda Stathopoulos, Emőke-Ágnes Horvát, and Elisa Borowski

Connecting microscopic reprocessing to macroscopic properties for a circular plastics economy, Muzhou Wang, Jeffrey Richards, and Julia Kalow

Unified modeling of flowside initiation and runout, Giuseppe Buscarnera, Petia Vlahovska, and Ming Yang

ViSER (VIsualizing Suspension Electro-Rheology): a new tool for interrogating microstructure in fast-flowing suspensions, Jeffrey Richards, Michelle Driscoll, Brendan Blackwell, and Han Lin

Towards Engineering Metamaterials for Sustainable Energy Solutions: Local Thermal Properties of Grain Boundaries in Polycrystalline Materials, Oluwaseyi Balogun, G. Jeffrey Snyder, and Baojie Lu

Towards Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Recovery of Critical Metals from Waste, Benjamin Shindel, Samuel Lombardo, Vinayak Dravid, and Jean-François Gaillard

Microscopic Model of Stress Relaxation in Biopolymers and Composites, Can Aygen, Jiajun Luo, and Matthew A. Grayson

Characterization Standard for Stress Relaxation in Reprocessable Covalent Adaptable Networks, Claire Onsager, Can Aygen, Mohammed Bin Rusayyis, Lev Rovinsky, Noa Lachman, John Torkelson, Matthew A. Grayson

Relaxations Limited by Non-Gaussian Diffusion, Alain Kangabire, Kevin Considine, Can Aygen, Matthew A. Grayson

Life cycle assessment of emerging sustainable polymer processes, Sabyasachi Das

Reprocessable Polythiourethane dynamic networks, Logan Fenimore

Putting carbon markets to work on the path to net zero, Krupal Jawanjal



Three Minute Thesis Competition


CESR is hosting its second Three Minute Thesis competition in 2024, with the winners announced at the poster session on May 30th.  Entry is open to any current Northwestern Ph.D. student working in sustainability, who are encouraged to submit a video recording of 3 minutes or less summarizing their thesis research for a non-specialist audience.  

Submissions are currently closed.  Winners will be determined by a panel of judges, to be announced shortly, with prizes going to the top three finishers.

Contest Entries


Judges and Judging Criteria

About Three Minute Thesis

2023 CESR Three Minute Thesis Competition 


Contest Entries

All seven of our Three Minute Thesis contest entries for 2024 can be viewed below, ordered by last name.  Please join us on May 30th, when the winning entries will be announced.

Cyanophycin: A Natural Solution to Nitrogen Waste

Kevin Fitzgerald, Chemical and Biological Engineering


Reimaging the Nitrogen Circular Economy: A Holistic Comparative Framework for Nitrogen Recovery Technologies

Chayse Lavallais, Chemical and Biological Engineering


How Does Urban Runoff Impact River Networks?

Joaquina Noreiga, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Are Topological Insulators Promising Thermoelectrics?

Michael Toriyama, Materials Science and Engineering


Non-stoichiometry in Cubic, Superprotonic Solid Acid Electrolytes

Grace Xiong, Materials Science and Engineering


Machine learning molecular mixture property for battery electrolyte design

Hengrui Zhang, Mechanical Engineering


Consequential Life Cycle Analysis on Mineral Mining

Yilun Zhou, Chemical and Biological Engineering

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide;
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation. This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ for a maximum of 1 minute.
  • The 3-minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Please note: competitors *are not* judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities. Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience and the 3MT PowerPoint slide.
Judges and Judging Criteria

Comprehension and Content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and Communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention


Three Minute Thesis


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.  Inspired by the 3 minute egg timers Queensland residents used to time their showers during a drought in 2008, the competition encourages students to consider their own research in new ways, while building new opportunities for dialogue and collaboration between individuals and working groups.

At present, 3 Minute Thesis competitions have been held in more than 900 universities across more than 85 countries.  


CESR Three Minute Thesis Competition 2023

CESR hosted its inaugural Three Minute Thesis competition in 2023, with the winners announced at the poster session on June 6th.  

1st Place: Minjung Kim, "Shining Light on Molecular Nets for CO2 Capture and Release on Demand"

2nd Place: Matthew Sweers, "Anion Tuning of Perovskite Materials"

3rd Place: Jane Edgington, "Electrifying Change: Improving Catalysts for Electrochemical Water Splitting"

(L - R) 3MT Winners Sweers, Kim, and Edgington

(Left to Right: Sweers, Kim, and Edgington) 

Thank you to all of our participants for entering!  All of their presentations are available to watch below.

Shining Light on Molecular Nets for CO2 Capture and Release on Demand

Minjung Kim, Chemistry


Anion Tuning of Perovskite Materials

Matthew Sweers, Materials Science and Engineering


Electrifying Change: Improving Catalysts for Electrochemical Water Splitting

Jane Edgington, Chemical and Biological Engineering


Catalyst Corrosion for Water Electrolysis

Ruihan Li, Chemical and Biological Engineering


Nature-Inspired Enhanced Microplastics Filters

Leyun Feng, Mechanical Engineering



Sustainable Production of Hydrogen Peroxide Using Renewable Electricity

Brianna Ruggiero, Chemical and Biological Engineering


Catalyzing a Sustainable Future with Electrochemistry

Adrien Deberghes, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Thank you to our four judges:

Cécile Chazot, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Julia Weertman Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University

William Miller, CESR Founding Director

Lauren Valentino, Environmental Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory

Karen Weigert, Director, Baumhart Center, Loyola University Chicago

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