Building connections now, for the future
June 21, 2023

3M-University of Minnesota poster session fuels learning and connections

The University of Minnesota, in partnership with 3M, hosted a poster session with current graduate students and postdoctoral scholars on June 7, 2023. The event showcased student expertise by providing a platform to share their work and network with 3M’s research and development leaders. The session featured students from the Colleges of Science and Engineering, Biological Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences—as well as from the Duluth and Rochester campuses. More than 150 3M employees and 45 U of M researchers participated.

University Vice President for Research, Shashank Priya, shared opening remarks, touching on 3M’s continued support for scholarships, K-12 STEM programming, and the more than 40 3M employees engaged on boards across the University that advise leaders and programs. Priya also discussed University priorities and the importance of collaboration among industry, academia, and government.

Priya was joined by Mike Kesti, 3M senior vice president of corporate research and development, to kick off the poster session, which was full of lively conversation and learning. Kesti also spoke to the value of the partnership between the University of Minnesota and 3M.

Students and 3M-ers alike shared a desire to do another poster session next year, and students shared that the event was a way to make meaningful connections with 3M staff, learn more about opportunities outside of academia, and get helpful feedback and insights on their research. Raisa Carmen Andeme Ela, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, presented her poster Sulfurous zeosils for dehydra-decyclization of biomass derived tetrahydrofuran to renewable butadiene, andshared of her experience:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the 3M poster session because all the 3M employees that approached my poster were cheerful, open, and excited, creating an affable environment for me to confidently share my research. We had enriching discussions on how the results could be interpreted in an academic versus industrial setting, and as a professional keen on pursuing a career in academia, these conversations inspired me to consider obtaining industrial experience.”

Priya shared that others were discussing the science they are pursuing in their theses, reiterating how the poster session underscored the industrial relevance of their work. “The recognition of the translational aspect of their research is something we would like to strengthen and events like this help in accomplishing that goal. Our collaborations and partnership with 3M continue to be strong and expanding.”

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