Three local hopefuls for 3MT

| 13 Sep 2017

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Three UNSW Canberra students will be making the trip to Sydney today to compete in the greater UNSW finals of the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

3MT is just what is sounds like – a PhD or Research Masters student has to give a compelling presentation of their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes.

UNSW Canberra students Leilia Khanjaninejad, Sumana Biswas and Zhixin Cheng finished in the top spots of the local heats of 3MT.

Leila Khanjaninejad is studying with the School of Business, and her presentation is on how gender is reflected in the drug control policy in sport.

“By taking part in the 3MT competition, I’ve been absolutely enriched through rethinking and reflecting on my research,” Leila said. “It’s really thought provoking; in particular it helps to view my work from a different angle which in turn helps to improve it.”

The competition is tough; however, the three finalists have been workshopping their presentations and are confident they are in with a chance at winning the $3,000 UNSW prize. The winners also gain entry into the 2017 Asia-Pacific Competition at the University of Queensland.

Sumanas Biswas’ PhD thesis is on autonomous systems and she has been preparing at the UNSW workshops as well as watching YouTube videos of other competitors. 

“I am going to talk about the driverless cars and highlight the problem like fatal accidents they are facing in recent years,” said Sumanas. “For me the most exciting part is that to summarize my total PhD work in 3 minutes and explain it to general audience.”

Zhixin Cheng’s research is on sediment dynamics in coastal areas – “I take this competition as a chance to challenge and prove myself. The moment I came to the stage, that was the most exciting part ‘cause I know I stepped out of my comfort zone.” 

3MT was developed by the University of Queensland as a way of condensing and focussing the research of their PhD and Research Masters students. UNSW Canberra students have done well in the past, with Billie Gandendran a runner up in 2012 and Rosemary Barnes winning the UNSW competition in 2015.

Leilia Khanjaninejad with her award. Photo by Noushin NasiriL - R Sumana Biswas and Zhixin Cheng