Students perfect their elevator pitch at competition

Materials Advantage Spring event

The elevator pitch, a short, easily understandable description of a project that instantly attracts interest and support, is a skill that can be perfected with practice and is not sufficiently covered in graduate curriculum.

Texas A&M University’s Materials Advantage chapter offered an opportunity to 13 teams of graduate students in the Dwight Look College of Engineering and the College of Science to practice their elevator pitch, describing their complex research at the 2nd Pitch Your Research Competition earlier this month.

“We designed the competition to help improve graduate students' communication skills before they entered the workforce,” said Amy Bolon, president of the organization and graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) funded the competition.

The teams were allotted three minutes to pitch their research. They then had time to improve their pitch based on judges’ comments and presented their pitch again. 

The judges included Robert Badrak, director of Engineering Materials at Weatherford, Dr. Julio Maldonado, advising materials engineer at Chevron Energy Technology Company, Michael Pendley, technical sales manager at Villares Metals and Dr. K. Ted Hartwig, professor in the materials science and engineering department.

Timothy Brown, graduate student in materials science and engineering was named the first-place winner.

Second place went to Jake Carrow and Lauren Cross, both graduate students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Yilhwan You, graduate student in materials science and engineering and Aniket Biswas, graduate student in biomedical engineering together won third place.

Xuan Wang, graduate student in the Department of Chemistry won the Most Improved Award.

To be a member of Texas A&M’s Materials Advantage Chapter, visit and choose Texas A&M University as the local Chapter.