Winners of the Three Minute Thesis® (3MT) competition have been announced by the Graduate School. 3MT is a research communication competition that challenges graduate and doctoral students to deliver a compelling oration on the nature, significance and interests of their dissertation or master’s thesis research in three minutes or less.
Attendees at the 3MT finals selected as “people’s choice” winner Yousr Dhaouadi, a chemical engineering doctoral student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, who discussed “Controlling Bacterial Stress Tolerance with Light.” Her research seeks to understand bacterial persister cells that reside within biofilms. Persister cells are linked to resilience of chronic infections against antibiotics and to the rise of antimicrobial resistance. Dhaouadi conducts research with Biomedical Engineering professor and BioInspired Institute member Dacheng Ren.
Dhaouadi says that being selected for the people’s choice award “is an incredible honor for me. Communicating research on drug-tolerant bacteria can be quite challenging. Condensing intricate scientific concepts and technical terms into a three-minute summary requires contemplating the overarching objective of our research. I am delighted that the message I conveyed resonated with the audience. I am grateful for the recognition and am motivated to continue my research to develop effective tools to help combat the global rise in drug tolerance and resistance.” Her prize is a ReMarkable 2 tablet.
Glenn Wright, executive director of career and professional development at the Graduate School, moderated the competition. Judges included: Amanda Brown, associate professor of languages, literatures and linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences; Adam Cucchiara, doctoral student in public administration and international affairs and 2022 3MT champion; and Aaron Mohammed, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, College of Arts and Sciences with a joint appointment in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.
The Three Minute Thesis competition was founded at the University of Queensland to celebrate graduate student research. The first competition was held in 2008. It grew in popularity and today takes place at more than 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide and in both virtual and in-person formats.