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. Maria Appeaning

Mentor
Examples of Dr. Appeaning's work include the synthesis of novel dental monomers with 's Dental Health Care Division ( ESPE) to developing antimicrobial coatings with 's Medical Division.

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.

Dr. Raha Been

Mentor
Dr. Been's work at 3M focuses on the development of advanced wound care technologies and products and holds a central role in 3M's future in regenerative medicine.

Dr. Olester Benson

Mentor
Since joining in 1988, Benson has spent the majority of his career leading research efforts to develop environmentally friendly manufacturing process technologies using high-energy radiation.

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.

Dr. Mary Caruso Dailey

Mentor
Dr. Dailey is currently working on adhesives for electronics bonding in 3M’s Industrial Adhesive and Tapes Division.

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.

Dr. Kevin Eberman

Mentor
Dr. Eberman creates higher energy materials for batteries that power smart-phones, tablets, and electric vehicles.

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. Belma Erdogan-Haug

Mentor
Dr. Erdogan-Haug serves as a volunteer tutor for students in St. Paul, MN area high school and is actively involved in mentoring students through the 3M Science Training Encouragement Program.

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.

Dr. Benton Free

Mentor
As a part of his role with the Electronics and Energy Group Laboratory, Dr. Free has worked on a diverse set of technologies.

Dr. Patrick Hager

Mentor
Dr. Hager has been instrumental in the invention and development of several key technologies including Command brand adhesives, simultaneous film orientation, surface structure and functionalization.

Dr. Cordell Hardy

Mentor
While a project developer for 3M's Consumer and Office business, Dr. Hardy guided the development of various adhesives, tapes, and home cleaning 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.

John Henderson

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

Dr. James Jonza

Mentor
Dr. Jonza is an inventor on over 45 patents, with more than 15 pending, and has authored 11 publications.

Dr. Delony Langer-Anderson

Mentor
I have an awesome job. I come to work and use my imagination, education, and experience to translate ideas into physical products that people can use every day in their homes and at work.

Margaux Mitera

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

Dr. Joe Oxman

Mentor
With 81 issued patents and more than 20 pending, Oxman played a key role in revolutionizing the dental industry by helping to create tooth colored restorative filling materials to replace conventional metal fillings.

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.

Dr. Kris Thunhorst

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

Dr. Martin Wolk

Mentor
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Wolk has worked on the application of micro- and nano-scale patterning techniques to potential 3M products for printing, displays and graphics.

Dr. Caroline Ylitalo

Mentor
Dr. Ylitalo has focused her career on developing new technologies that can be used across many businesses and has over 30 issued patents.