2023 3MT® Competition Winners

1st Place Winner & People's Choice Awardee | Quentin Jarrell

Quentin Jarrell recently earned a BS (2022) in Mechanical Engineering and is currently pursuing a master's degree in bioengineering at the University of Kansas. As a graduate research assistant in the Soper Research Group, Quentin's work focuses on the engineering components of microfluidic devices used to sequence DNA and RNA. His work ranges from design to fabrication and testing, with the ultimate goal of improving DNA/RNA sequencing methods by increasing the throughput of such systems. Better sequencing technologies will improve medicine, including vaccine development, precision medicine, gene discovery, disease diagnosis, and more.

Mentor/advisor: Steven A. Soper, Foundation Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry
Headshot of Quentin Jarrell

2nd Place Winner | Kara Hageman

Kara Hageman is a 2020-2024 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Kansas. She earned a BS (2018) in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in biomaterials from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH. Her time at CWRU involved research on drug delivery with synthetic platelets as well as being a varsity athlete and captain of the womens basketball team. Following her undergraduate studies, she earned both a Master’s of Public Health and a Master’s of Bioethics and Medical Humanities (2020) from CWRU. For her PhD, Hageman is studying under Dr. Terence McIff at the Orthopedic Research and Education Center at the KU Medical Center. Her dissertation focuses on investigating better methods to prevent periprosthetic joint infection in orthopedic implants by incorporating bioactive glass into bone cement. She has also interned with the clinical development innovation team at Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, and is a current intern with the University Venture Fund Crossroads program. At KU, she is actively involved with the society for biomaterials student chapter and serves on the graduate student advisory board. Upon graduating, she hopes to bridge the gap between public health and engineering as it relates to the accessibility of life-saving technologies to individuals, both nationally and globally.

Mentor: Terence E. McIff, Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Headshot of Kara Hageman

2nd Place Winner | Payal Makhasana

Payal Makhasana is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a focus on hydrology at the University of Kansas. She earned a Master's in Engineering, majoring in Hydraulic Structure, from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 2019. Her previous experience included a focus on applying GIS in hydrology, land use change analysis, meteorological data analysis, and surface flood modeling using tools such as HEC-RAS and HEC-GeoRAS. Currently, Payal serves as a graduate research assistant for the "Global Satellite-Based Prediction of Drought Evolution" project. Her research is focused on the interaction of land and atmosphere in drought prediction. Payal's work in this area is crucial for understanding the processes and mitigating drought impacts. Her transition from foundational work in water resources to her current research underscores her commitment to tackling some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

Mentor: Dr. Joshua Roundy, Associate Professor in Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
Headshot of Payal Makhasana