Chemical Engineering Student Is Runner-Up at 2017 Grad Slam

Monday, April 24, 2017

Congratulations to Max Nowak, PhD student in Chemical Engineering, for his runner-up finish in the 2017 UCSB Grad Slam, held last Friday in Corwin Pavilion.

Nowak, who works in Professor Matthew Helgeson’s lab and is conducting research on the biological transport of nanogels, presented a talk titled “Breaching the Blood-Brain Barrier.” 

Nowak and fellow runner-up, Eric Jorgensen (Theater Studies), each won a $2,500 cash award for their efforts in the two-week annual competition, which began with a field of 64 competitors. That was reduced to 29 semi-finalists and, finally, to nine finalists. In the Grad Slam format, students present 3-minute research talks that demonstrate their ability to make complex research topics comprehensible to non-expert audiences, using no more than three slides.

This year’s Grand Champion is Leah Foltz, who also has connections to the College of Engineering. She is a PhD student in the interdisciplinary Biomolecular Science and Engineering program (BMSE), an interdisciplinary program administered by faculty with joint appointments in a number of departments including Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering. BMSE provides unique opportunities for intensive research training at the interface between the physical and life sciences and engineering disciplines in highly interactive and collaborative laboratories. 

Max Nowak is at right, Leah in the center and Eric J on the left

Final three of Grad Slam 2017: Max Nowak (right), Leah Foltz (center), and Eric Jorgensen (left)