Winners of 2019 Three Minute Thesis competition announced

Eleven graduate students competed in the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on March 25 at the Innovative Media Research Center at the University of Maine.

The unique competition, developed by the University of Queensland, requires presenters to explain their research using language the general public would comprehend in three minutes. The competitors were allowed to use a single PowerPoint slide without any other resources during their presentation.

Winners of the competition were:

  • Cameron Hodgdon, doctoral candidate in marine biology, “Incorporating environmental drivers to improve assessment and projections for American lobster in a changing Gulf of Maine and southern New England,” first place;
  • Atefeh Rajaei, doctoral candidate in biochemistry and molecular biology, “Alternative ways of combating bacterial infections,” second place; and
  • Charitha Perera, doctoral candidate in chemistry, “Artificial photosynthesis: Turning water into Hydrogen (H2) fuel using sunlight,” third place.

Judges included James Beaupre, director of UMaine’s Industrial Cooperation Department; Veena Dinesh, director of business incubation at the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovation; and Elena Metzger, owner of Print Bangor.

The three finalists will present at the UMaine Student Symposium on April 10 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Hodgdon’s winning presentation will represent UMaine at the annual Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools regional 3MT competition April 11–13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“The Three Minute Thesis competition makes you think differently about your research than you ever have,” Hodgdon  says. “Too many of us simply see our research as numbers and equations and models and charts, but it’s more than that — it’s an impact.”

A complete list of 3MT presenters and more information is online.

The UMaine 3MT competition is co-sponsored by the UMaine Graduate School and the Foster Center for Student Innovation.