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PhD Student is International Thesis Competition Finalist

Oct 20, 2021   |   by Julie Bonette

Congran (Billy) Jin

Dartmouth Engineering PhD student Congran (Billy) Jin is one of just 13 finalists in the international Matariki Three Minute Thesis competition with an entry that centers around using the human body's natural processes to harvest energy.

"My work focuses on developing implantable energy-harvesting materials and devices that can collect the otherwise wasted biomechanical energy from the human body, like the heart's beat, and convert it to electrical energy. We then use the harvested energy to power implantable or wearable electronics ranging from a pacemaker to a watch. By charging the pacemaker using energy from the heart itself, we are able to avoid pacemaker replacement surgeries, which is important due to the tremendous associated cost and risk."

Congran (Billy) Jin

To vote for the People's Choice Award, see Jin's three-minute presentation, "An Energetic Heart," on YouTube, and then visit the Matariki website before October 24. Public voting as well as an international panel of judges will determine the winner of a cash prize.

First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition challenges students to communicate the significance of their research projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

Jin and Abigail Dutton, an MD-PhD student at the Geisel School of Medicine, were the only competition finalists selected from the United States. Other finalists hail from New Zealand, England, Sweden, Canada, Germany, and Australia.

This summer, Jin was selected to participate in the VentureWell Summer 2021 E-Team Grant Program and received funding for a wearable blood pressure monitor he is co-developing with PhD Innovation Program Fellow Andrew Closson and their advisor, Professor John Zhang.

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