A young woman addresses an audience in a lecture theatre.

UOW PhD candidates go head-to-head in Three Minute Thesis competition

UOW PhD candidates go head-to-head in Three Minute Thesis competition

An 80,000 word thesis would take hours to present. Their time limit? Just three minutes.

Nine aspiring PhD Candidates will compete in the University of Wollongong (UOW) edition of the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition next week (10 August 2022).

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition is a fun event for UOW Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates to communicate the purpose and importance of their research using language for a non-specialist audience.

Participants are given three minutes to engage and inspire the audience with their PhD research, with the assistance of just one PowerPoint slide.

The 2022 UOW 3MT Final will be held in a virtual format, with finalists invited to present a three-minute video presentation.

The Judging Panel, made up of UOW Vice Chancellor Professor Patricia Davidson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor  Professor David Currow and a team of UOW PhD academics from across the University’s faculties, will have an opportunity to ask the finalists a question, before determining a winner and runner-up.

There will also be a People’s Choice award, where registered Zoom participants can vote on who they thought gave the most convincing presentation.

The UOW 3MT winner, runner up, and peoples' choice awards will be announced during the event.

This competition is an entertaining way for staff and students to learn about the important and ground-breaking research being undertaken by UOW HDR Candidates.

The winner of the UOW 3MT competition will be invited to represent UOW and attend the 2022 Asia-Pacific 3MT competition, hosted by The University of Queensland on Wednesday 19 October 2022. 

The 2022 finalists are:

Natalie Day

Natalie is conducting research with Early Start focussing on early self-regulation development and play. Natalie completed her Masters at Cambridge University in 2016, where she also contributed to research on the development of playful pedagogies at Cambridge’s PEDAL Centre (Play in Education, Development, and Learning). Natalie continues to work on a variety of projects in the field of education including digital play, intergenerational play, and post-COVID play in international contexts. Natalie is a student member of the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, a PEDAL affiliate, and member of the NSW Institute of Educational Research.

Mark Donovan

Mark has worked as a child and family psychologist for 30 years. In that time he has learnt a great deal from the thousands of families he has worked with, from the scientific literature and from colleagues. Mark’s PhD investigates a parenting program he has co-developed over the past 15 years: Confident Carers Cooperative Kids. The main question he will address is: Can a mindfulness and imagery enhanced behavioural parenting program help our most vulnerable children and families?

Eileen Wallace

An abiding interest in human physiology and the application of scientific concepts to solve real world problems led Eileen to complete an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at UOW. This course sparked her interest in how advanced fabrication technologies such as 3D printing could be used to solve clinical challenges. Eileen is a PhD candidate at the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials working on developing a bioprinting system which can be used by clinicians for the treatment of traumatic skin wounds.

Carly Baker

Carly studied a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in chemistry at the University of Sydney. Her honours thesis involved synthesis and characterisation of novel molecular polymer brushes. Currently, she is in her third year of a PhD in polymer science with an application in bioelectronics at the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute. She has a keen interest in polymer synthesis and characterisation, colloids and interfacial science and electrochemistry.

Michael Stapleton

Michael graduated from UOW in 2018 with an environmental engineering degree and has since developed a passion to protect the environment from being littered with plastics. This passion has led him into a PhD focussing on issues associated with plastic recycling. Plastic recycling is a valuable industry that reduces dependencies on fossil fuels and the human impact on the environment, however it does have an unintentional dark side.

Sarah Vogel

Sarah is in her fourth year of her doctoral degree after completing her undergraduate in medical and radiation physics in 2018. Her research focus is using nanoparticles combined with synchrotron radiation to provide safer, more effective imaging and treatment for patients with high-grade brain cancers, especially gliobastoma. She is a Post Graduate Research Award Scholar with the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering and is also sponsored to travel to, and conduct research at, a partner University in France later this year.

Catherine Stephen 

Catherine Stephen is a Registered Nurse and PhD student at the School of Nursing. As part of her doctoral study, she conducted a randomised control trial to evaluate a nurse-led intervention to improve blood pressure control. A supporter of equitable, universal health care, her research aims to improve better health outcomes for individuals with chronic conditions.

Sarah O’Hea Miller 

Sarah O'Hea Miller completed an undergraduate degree in marine science in 2018 and spent her honours year investigating behavioural interactions between invasive and native freshwater crayfish. Following the completion of her honours, Sarah began her PhD in 2019 which is focused on assessing the impacts of invasive species on the critically endangered Fitzroy Falls spiny crayfish. Her current research uses a combination of innovative radio-tracking and stable isotope methods to evaluate the extent invasive species alter the habitat use, activity patterns and diet of the Fitzroy Falls spiny crayfish. 

David Havyatt 

After a 35 year career through telecommunications and energy, including senior roles covering corporate sales, public affairs, regulation and strategy, including a stint as a Ministerial Adviser and speechwriter, David decided a cool way to start his retirement was to do more research on the electricity sector and try to earn a PhD. Economics is supposed to be the dismal science, and currently the electricity market is just as dismal, but David at least finds his research topic interesting and relevant.


Event details

Date: 10 August 2022

Time: 3:30-5pm

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/2022-virtual-uow-three-minute-thesis-final-tickets-375623679537