2022 3MT® Competition Winners

1st Place Winner & People's Choice Awardee | Sayuri Sammanani Niyangoda

Sayuri Sammanani Niyangoda completed her bachelor of science in chemistry from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in the year 2019. To pursue higher studies, she then joined the graduate program offered by the department of chemistry at University of Kansas. The primary focus of Sayuri's research is the development and application of bioanalytical techniques for studying biological functions of neurotransmitters. Her research particularly focuses on the detection of neurotransmitters inside and outside of the brain in response to electrical or optical stimulations with the aim of understanding their role in the cognitive and behavioral impairment that occur due to Alzheimer’s disease. Sayuri hopes this research would uncover new diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities for Alzheimer’s disease.

Mentors: Michael Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry; Romana Jarosova, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
Sayuri Sammanani Niyangoda

2nd Place Winner | Kalin Baca

Kalin Baca is a 2020-2024 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Kansas in the Shiflett Research Group. She holds an M.S. in chemical engineering (2019), MBA with a concentration in organizational behavior (2019), and B.S. in chemical engineering with a concentration in bioengineering and a minor in business management (2018) from the University of New Mexico. Her doctoral research is focused on the separation of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant mixtures using ionic liquids. This research is part of Project EARTH (Environmentally Applied Research Toward Hydrofluorocarbons) that is focused on identifying sustainable processes for the selective separation of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant mixtures. Baca is interested in the crossroads between engineering and business, particularly in entrepreneurship, and hopes to pursue a career that requires a combination of knowledge in these two areas.

Mentor: Mark Shiflett, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, School of Engineering
Kalin Baca