Perfect Pitch Competition


  Click HERE for 2024 Competition Guidelines

While students traditionally present posters highlighting their research at the conference that ERCs hold each year for their industry partners, asking students to answer the following three questions in 90 seconds—(1) what real-life problem their research addressed, (2) how they solved it in a unique way, and (3) what impact it would have for society and in achieving their Center’s mission—they learn a succinct way of talking about their research in the context of societal needs and the broader impact of their success. These short presentations, or an “elevator pitch,” are organized as a competition among students.

Each ERC holds an internal competition in order to select one winner to send to the finals at the ERC Program biennial meeting, where an overall winner and two runners-up are chosen by a distinguished panel of judges from industry and the venture capital world.

To enhance the esprit de corps within each ERC and create an atmosphere of friendly competition among the ERCs, the specially designed Lynn Preston Trophy is presented to the ERC home of the contest’s first-place winner “for creating a nurturing environment that allowed their student to rise to the top of the competition.” The trophy resides at that center for the following two years.

 2022 ERC-wide Perfect Pitch Contest Winners:

  • 1st Place:Lauren Mazurowski, a PhD student at Yale in the Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) ERC
  • 2nd Place:Eleanor Fadely, a PhD student at University of California, Davis in the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) ERC
  • 3rd Place: Marium Rasheed, a PhD student at Utah State University and part of the Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE) ERC

A complete table of past winners is posted below.