Finalists, Mentors and Judges

Today’s Innovators

Get to know the diverse personalities of students, 3M Mentors, and others who have contributed their unique talents to the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Use the tabs below to explore exciting ideas and inspirations from previous years’ challenges.

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WinnersFinalistsState Merit WinnersHonorable MentionImproving LivesMentorsJudges

Tesha Alston Dampier

3M Senior Quality Engineer, Biopharmaceutical Purification Business

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

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Ian Cummings

Product Development Specialist

A natural problem solver and leader, Ian develops technology with applications in today’s electronics and emerging technology for the future.

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Dr. Kannan Seshadri

3M Advanced Product Development Specialist

Kannan is a serial inventor-innovator who thrives on translating new ideas and consumer insights to commercialization. His expertise in materials science and manufacturing brings a proven track record in product commercialization, new-to-world technology, and manufacturing process development.

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Dr. Patrick Zimmerman

3M Division Scientist

Patrick brings unique expertise and background to the automotive, adhesives, aerospace industries, and more. He has a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills and is a mentor to his teams and colleagues.

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Dr. Mary Caruso Dailey

3M Product Development Specialist

Dr. Mary Caruso Dailey has pursued innovation in product development roles at 3M as well as in her personal life where she empowers young people to discover new applications of science.

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Jeffrey Emslander

3M Corporate Scientist

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

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Dr. PJ Flanigan

Sr. Technical Manager of the Global Health Laboratory

A problem solver at heart, PJ coaches cross-functional development teams in the creation and commercialization of new consumer first-aid products. PJ enjoys managing technical experts from multiple countries and values diverse perspectives.

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Rohit Gupta

Research Specialist

As a highly motivated and technically proficient research specialist, Rohit develops next-generation products and processes to reduce and eliminate the use of solvents and hazardous chemicals.

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Dr. Ross Behling

3M Senior Research Specialist

As a chemical engineer with 10+ years of experience in 3M corporate research labs, Dr. Ross Behling has invented numerous pressure-sensitive adhesive products in handheld electronics, industrial assembly, and automotive bonding applications.

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Stephanie Owen

3M Senior Product Development Engineer, Transportation and Electronics Business

Driven by her passion for the ever-expanding electronics industry, Stephanie’s expertise in product development, project management, and commercialization brings new ideas into realized products.

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Dr. Döne Demirgöz

Research Specialist

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

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Dr. Ann Fornof

3M Senior Research Specialist

As an inventor with more than 25 granted patents, Dr. Ann Fornof brings practical knowledge of technology development to help 3M business divisions commercialize its innovative products.

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Dr. Vasav Sahni

3M Advanced Research Specialist

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

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Sara Frisco

3M Senior Product Development Engineer

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

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Jonah Shaver

Product Development Specialist

Protecting the sensors of an autonomous vehicle is like protecting one’s eyesight,” just ask Jonah Shaver, Ph.D. and product development specialist at 3M.

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Mary Brown

3M Division Scientist

With expertise in product development, commercialization, project management, and application engineering, Mary utilizes her skills to educate those around her on the technologies used in our favorite household products.

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Sam Reiss

3M Senior Application Engineer

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.

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Kandyce Bohannon

3M Senior Software Engineer

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.

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Dr. Mahfuza Ali

3M Corporate Scientist

Dr. Ali is the inventor of several material technologies including specialty thermoplastic and pressure sensitive adhesive polymers, antistatic quaternary monomers and polymers, ink-receptive and paint blocking polymers and surface modification.

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Dr. Jen Hanson

Product Development Specialist

In the Consumer Healthcare division, Jen creates new products that help people heal and get back to living their lives.

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John Henderson

3M Senior Product Development Engineer

The impact of John Henderson’s work can be seen anywhere there’s been an impact – between vehicles, that is.

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Dr. Kris Thunhorst

3M Senior Research Specialist

Dr. Thunhorst collaborates closely between the Industrial Business Group Research and Development Laboratory to scout and research new technologies.

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Dr. Kathleen Shafer

3M Research Specialist

Dr. Shafer helps convert corn and other plants into...plastics! Her molecular research in polymers helps turn interesting science into cool products that improve lives.

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Margaux Mitera

3M Scientist

Collaboration is key to taking ideas further, and having the right tools can make all the difference.

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