UOW PhD candidates compete in annual Three Minute Thesis event

UOW PhD candidates compete in annual Three Minute Thesis event

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

The 10 finalists in the University of Wollongong (UOW) chapter of the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will face off on 16 August 2023, distilling their 80,000 word theses into a short, punchy presentation.

The light-hearted competition for UOW Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates asks them to communicate the purpose and importance of their research competitively and persuasively using every day, non-expert language.

Participants are allowed just three minutes and one PowerPoint slide to engage and inspire the audience with their research, testing their ability to effectively explain their research to a non-specialist audience.  

This year’s competition is sponsored by UOW born green-energy startup Hysata. The winner will receive a $1000 prize and go on to the 2023 Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition Final on Wednesday 18 October.

The runner up and people's choice award winners will each receive $750.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Sustainable Futures) and competition judge Professor David Currow  said:“The 3MT competition gives candidates the opportunity to really think about how their research can reach and connect with people outside of academia.

“Condensing a PhD thesis into just three minutes is no mean feat and give scholars the chance to really nut out the core of their arguments and findings. I can’t wait to see the competition unfold.”

The 2023 UOW finalists are:

Molly Kirkpatrick from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS)

After graduating with bachelor degree in materials engineering and physics, Molly Kirkpatrick has continued following her childhood passion for space exploration into her PhD. In partnership with CSIRO, her work focuses on developing measurement techniques and instruments that can be used to identify elements within the lunar soil. This work is an essential first step for allowing humans to use lunar resources to create a sustained human presence on the Moon.

Jun Yin from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS)

Jun Yin’s PhD project involves interdisciplinary research of materials and biomedicine. The primary aim of this project is to modify the surface of titanium alloys using both physical and chemical methods for biomedical permanent implantation applications.

Randa Sacedon, from the Faculty of Business and Law (BAL)

Trained in shipping and civil law, and with a passion for storytelling, Randa’s PhD, “Ocean Stories for Ocean Governance”, unpacks the dominant and influential narratives in the law of the sea. With a critical eye, she unravels the assumptions embedded within these narratives, which go unquestioned and which emerge as legal and social norms. Randa’s goal is to advocate for the oceans, people and marine life through storytelling to bring about equitable, wholistic and inclusive approaches to ocean governance.

Yuwei Sun from the Faculty of Business and Law (BAL)

Yuwei is in her fourth year of her doctoral degree. Her research focuses on the interaction between individuals and their working environments, specifically examining person-organisation fit and misfit. After dedicating several years to theoretical studies, she is now preparing to delve into the application of these theories within the context of eastern culture.

Clare Rushton from the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (ASSH)

Clare is a psychologist (clinical registrar) working at a not-for profit organisation, providing psychological therapy to adults and adolescents with a range of mental health difficulties, including mood disorders, substance use and other behavioural addictions. Clare’s PhD investigates the experiences of families and friends who are affected by a loved one’s alcohol or other drug use, including the impact and burden, their coping strategies, and how to effectively address families’ needs through the intersection of research and clinical practice.

Renzhe Zhang from the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (ASSH)

Renzhe Zhang graduated with an honours degree in history and is currently a PhD candidate at UOW researching the influence of the New Culture Movement on the Chinese Diaspora in Australia from the 1900s to the 1930s. This study investigates how the Chinese community was shaped by Australian racism and Chinese intellectual debates.

Cassandra Nikodijevic from the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health (SMAH)

Cassandra Nikodijevic is an accredited practising dietitian and is in the third year of her PhD. Cassandra also works in private practice once per week. Her research explores nut consumption in Australia and the relationship between nut consumption and body weight, including the energy-regulating mechanisms of tree nuts and peanuts.

Kirsten Parker from the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health (SMAH)

Kirsten Parker is a registered nurse and a second year PhD candidate in the School of Nursing and her research focusses on the transfer from hospital to home for frail older adults. She's particularly interested in the role of the nurse in improving the transitional care needs of these complex patients.

Sulokshana Marks from Australian Institute of Innovative Materials (AIIM)

Sulokshana is a double graduate in chemistry from Sri Lanka. Her strong interest in materials research led her to pursue a master’s degree in biofabrication at UOW which she completed in 2020. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials (AIIM) working on “'Remotely Activated, Contactless Electrode for Biomedical Applications”.

Jincy Joseph from Australian Institute of Innovative Materials (AIIM)

Jincy completed her Bachelor and Masters degrees in `physics in India and moved to Wollongong in 2020. She is now a final year PhD candidate at AIIM. Her current work is focussed on optimising the synthesis parameters for lead-free relaxor ferroelectrics, for applications in ceramic capacitors.