20 September 2017

More than fifty of the brightest future researchers will have no time to waste when they battle it out in the upcoming Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final at The University of Queensland.

After years of hard work developing a thesis, PhD students from Australia, New Zealand and across Asia will take on the challenge to explain their research in just three short minutes or 180 seconds.

An 80,000 word PhD thesis could take up to nine hours to present, however competitors will be racing against the clock to condense their work into an engaging and interesting presentation that makes sense to the general public.

UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) and Graduate School Dean Professor Alastair McEwan said this year was an exciting milestone for the competition with Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel judging the final.

“The competition provides a platform that showcases the amazing research PhD students are conducting across the Asia-Pacific region,” Professor McEwan said.

“It is also a wonderful way for students to demonstrate their ability to communicate and engage with a wide audience on their research.

“The value of research in Australia is hard to ignore when its impact is clearly communicated, and the benefits and outcomes are articulated in a way that resonates with the community.”

In a series of semi-finals, the field of 55 PhD students will be reduced to just ten finalists who will then take to the stage one more time to compete for the chance to win a spot on the winners’ podium.

UQ will be represented by Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology’s PhD student Edwin Davis who will present his 3MT titled, ‘Drones – gone with the wind.’

The 3MT competition was developed by UQ in 2008 and is now held in more than 600 universities and institutions across 59 countries around the world.

The concept for the 3MT competition came about when Queensland was in a severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to limit their time during their showers, with many people using a three-minute egg timer. The then Dean of the UQ Graduate School Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.

The 2017 Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition will be held at UQ on Friday 29 September. Tickets are free and open to the public.  Please register to attend the semi-finals and the finals.

Photo above left: 2017 UQ 3MT winner Edwin Davis

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au or 07 3346 7890.