Carmen Martínez, from IMDEA Materials, wins the audience award at Falling Walls Lab Madrid

  • Predoctoral researcher Carmen Martínez Alonso, from IMDEA Materials Institute, has been awarded the audience prize at the three-minute thesis (3MT) competition Falling Walls Lab Madrid.
  • Her presentation, titled “Breaking the Wall of Hydrogen Economy”, addressed the potential use of hydrogen as fuel.

On Friday, May 31, the prestigious 3MT competition of Falling Walls Lab Madrid took place at the headquarters of the Spanish National Research Centre (CSIC).

For the second consecutive year, the event’s Public Choice Award was won by an IMDEA Materials researcher, in this case, Carmen Martínez Alonso from the Institute’s Bio/Chemo Mechanics of Materials Research Group.

Carmen beat out fourteen preselected researchers for the award, each of whom had to present an innovative idea in just three minutes. The event celebrates the advances of science and is open to researchers and entrepreneurs in any discipline who are developing a project or a research program with a ‘groundbreaking’ idea.

Carmen is conducting multidisciplinary research that combines chemistry and numerical simulation to develop a more affordable substitute for platinum, used in hydrogen fuel cells. Her main goal is to replace platinum in these catalysts, due to its high cost and scarce supply.

Hydrogen, one of the most abundant elements on Earth and in the universe, presents itself as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. Its renewable nature and its ability to emit only water vapor during combustion make it a clean and environmentally friendly fuel.

In terms of efficiency, it surpasses fossil fuels, and its operation is silent, which adds to its appeal. Although it is abundant, it is not found in isolation in nature and its extraction can be costly and energy intensive.

You can see Carmen’s presentation and the award ceremony here:

IMDEA Materials and its continued success

This is not IMDEA Materials’ first success in Falling Walls Lab Madrid. Last year, another of the institute’s researchers, Dr. Pedro Navarrete, won the same prize. Dr. Navarrete presented his project that combines in vitro methods and the use of new biomaterials, with the aim of developing a new therapy for cardiac regeneration.

These recognitions underline IMDEA Materials’ dedication to excellence in research and innovation, its role in training the next generation of scientists, and their commitment to increasing awareness of science and research among the general public.