College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Four prevail in CBE’s Perfect Pitch grad student competition

Once again graduate student research presentations and the clock were in the spotlight in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, in the Perfect Pitch competition for fall semester 2021.

Top finishers in Perfect Pitch compeition
The top-finishing chemical engineering graduate students in the Perfect Pitch competition are shown. Right to left are: Efrain Rodriguez-Ocasio (first place), Bradley Ryan (second place), Andrew Kohler (third place) and Deon Ploessl (third place).

All chemical engineering graduate students who have completed their preliminary oral exams for their degrees presented their research projects to students, faculty and staff under a strict 90-second time limit. One Power Point slide could be used with each presentation.

The students vied to be among the top three finishers in judging by selected individuals in attendance – this time, four shared the honors, with a tie for third place after the results were tallied.

  • First place – Efrain Rodriguez-Ocasio, $150 prize
  • Second place – Bradley Ryan, $100 prize
  • Third place – Tie, Deon Ploessl and Andrew Kohler, $50 prize each

Judging of the presentations focused on:

  • What is the real-life problem your research addresses?
  • How does your approach uniquely solve the problem?
  • What is the potential impact if your research is successful?
  • Quality of the visual aid and overall presentation style were also considered

The goal of the competition is to help students get comfortable with what is often referred to as “the elevator speech” when answering comments or questions such as, “So, tell me about your research!”