Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge Finalists and State Merit Winners have been announced! Use the tabs below to check out their big ideas and explore all finalists, winners, mentors and judges!

Dr. Mahfuza Ali

Mentor
Dr. Ali has developed a number of technologies including specialty thermoplastic and PSA polymers, quaternary monomers/polymers, ink-receptive polymers and surface modification.

Tesha Alston

Mentor
Through effective problem solving and opportunity-mining, Tesha Alston has excelled in various roles—from biochemistry to engineering—over the past 14 years at 3M.

Dr. Alireza Asgari

Mentor
Dr. Asgari leads the development of innovative respiratory products, that protect the health and safety of millions of workers, all over the world.

Kandyce Bohannon

Mentor
Data and analytics are Kandyce Bohannon’s passion. This, she says, feeds her fascination for technology and helps her gain a greater understanding of human behavior.

Brian Butler

Judge
Originally from Virginia, Brian holds a specialist degree as well as an MAT degree from Georgia College and a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma where his love for science was enhanced by the ability to chase tornadoes! Prior to education, Mr. Butler is proud to have served as a meteorologist in the United States Air Force with duty stations in Arizona and Mississippi before ending up in Georgia where he has lived since 2003.

Dr. Döne Demirgöz

Mentor
Dr. Döne Demirgöz’s passion for science and engineering expands into many scientific areas at 3M. And when Dr. Demirgöz is not solving problems on the job, she’s inspiring and encouraging the next generation of young scientists through mentorship programs.

Jeffrey Emslander

Mentor
From graphic films for vehicles and reflective materials on traffic signs to more energy-efficient construction materials, Jeffrey Emslander is helping to create a greener planet.

Dr. Ann Fornof

Mentor
Having filed for more than 25 patents, Dr. Ann Fornof brings practical knowledge of technology development to help 3M business divisions commercialize its innovative products.

Sara Hemmer

Mentor
Driven by her passion for disruptive technology platforms and innovation, Sara enjoys working on new product development, new technologies and intellectual property strategy.

Dr. James M. Jonza

Judge
James completed his undergraduate studies in environmental and polymer chemistry at the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry and received his Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Delony Lager-Anderson

Judge
Dr. Langer-Anderson invents products for the healthcare industry, using science and imagination to make products more comfortable, durable or easy to use, helping people feel better every day.

Dr. Cindy Moss

Judge
Dr. Moss holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, master’s degree in science from Syracuse University and doctorate in science curriculum and instruction from the Curtin Institute of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.

Christine Tucci Osorio

Judge
Christine serves on the Executive Board of the Association of Metro Area School Districts (AMSD) and serves as a board member for the Search Institute. She is dedicated to sharing leadership experiences with others and has worked with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to mentor and coach fellow school superintendents in Puerto Rico. She has also recently served as the President of the Mid-American Association of School Superintendents, and currently co-chairs a Minnesota State Task Force on School Finance. She is deeply passionate about high school reform and is committed to lifting up the voices and leadership of young people as shared decision makers.

Sam Reiss

Mentor
3D printing is an exciting technological development that is helping change the way we live our lives. It’s even more exciting when you’re printing one of the most robust polymers humans have ever discovered.

Dr. Vasav Sahni

Mentor
Vasav identifies disruptive ideas that lead to new adhesive technologies and products.