Argonne Postdocs Co-Host Elevator Speech Competition with Oak Ridge National Lab and Los Alamos National Laboratories  

Argonne, Oak Ridge, and Los Alamos National Laboratories held the first cross-laboratory elevator speech competition!   

The event showcased 30 postdocs from the three participating labs explaining their research in under three minutes.   

  In collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), the Postdoctoral Society of Argonne held its first-ever Cross-Laboratory Elevator Speech Competition on September 20th, 2023. The event featured 30 postdocs from the three participating laboratories describing their research and its potential impact in three minutes, intending to promote collaborations among early career scientists at the national laboratories.     

Postdoctoral scientists presented on a wide variety of topics, ranging from technology for vaccine platforms to machine learning strategies, and innovations in recycling.   

The competition winners were chosen by a panel of judges from Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Los Alamos.   The judges evaluated the participants’ creativity, organization, and ability to convey scientific information to non-experts.  All winners now have a chance to give a research seminar at one of the participating laboratories.    

The Winners are:   

  • Olivia Chavez (LANL), “Bacterial Lipid Nanodiscs: Novel Vaccine Platform”   
  • Michael Dziekan (ANL), “Recycling Domestic Rare Earth Magnets”  
  • Jayasai Rajagopal (ORNL), “Harnessing the Power of High-Performance Computing for Virtual Imaging Trials”    

The inaugural cross-laboratory event served as a spotlight for postdocs across the national laboratories, amplifying complex research in a timely, engaging, and understandable way.   Following the competition’s success, postdocs from each lab continue to look for ways to meet and collaborate in the future.  

This cross-laboratory collaboration was initiated by the Postdoctoral Society Presidents of each lab: Claire Chang (ANL), Indranil Roy (ORNL), and Aaron Christopher Pital (LANL).  It would not have been possible without the Organizing Committee: Adarsha Balaji and Neeraj Kumar from Argonne, Pratishtha Shukla, Laurie Varma, and Tomas Grejtak from Oak Ridge.  Many thanks to the competition judges Thomas R. Watkins, Paige C. Kinsley, and Antonya Jandacek Sanders, and to the three Postdoc Offices for their help and support in making this event a success.  

Thanks to the participating ANL postdocs:   

  • Tupendra Oli     
  • Mustafa Unal  
  • Michael Dziekan  
  • Amit Bashyal   
  • Liu Yang 


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