June 30, 2020, by Lisa Chin

Winners announced in the UNM 2020 Virtual 3MT®

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia. The challenge is for doctoral researchers to explain the complexity and relevance of their research to a non-specialist audience in a concise and engaging way.

UNM 2020 Virtual 3MT®

The competition got even more challenging this year when it was moved online due to C0VID-19 pandemic. This temporary move to a virtual setting allowed 10 of our doctoral researchers to present their research in just 3 minutes to a panel of judges in our 3MT® Live! which took place entirely online using Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 24 June 2020. In addition, it also allowed our off-campus based doctoral researchers abroad to take part in the competition this year.

The winner and runner up were selected by a panel of judges drawn from academic and professional services, comprised of: Professor Sivakumar Manickam, Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange for Faculty of Science and Engineering; Ms Vivi Lim, Head of IT Services; and Mr Muhammad Zainal Abidin Zainun, Executive at Teaching and Learning (T&L).

“Despite the continued C0VID-19 vigilance and RMCO (recovery movement control order), this is indeed a commendable effort by the Graduate School to still holding the competition, albeit virtual, so that our postgraduate researchers are still able to gain the experience in presenting their research work in under 180 seconds,” said Professor Manickam during the opening of the live event. “Winning is not important but your participation is,” continued Professor Manickam when he addressed the contestants before concluding his opening remarks.

On the other hand, the winner of the People’s Choice was voted by the campus-wide community. The voting was done online where staff and students were able to watch the live presentation videos of our 10 contestants presenting their work, and then vote for the person who they think best explained the complexity and relevance of his/her research to a general, non-specialist audience in the most effective and engaging way.

Swaraj Sunilkumar Dube

Winner & People’s Choice

We are pleased to announce that Swaraj Sunilkumar Dube from the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering is the 2020 Winner of the UNM Virtual 3MT®. Swaraj won with a presentation of his PhD thesis Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the go, which aims at developing an AI that can learn new tasks continuously and further differentiate them from ones it has already learnt. This development offers a new frontier of AI innovation where computers will have the ability to learn continuously in an effective and efficient way.

Swaraj is also the 2020 Winner of the UNM Virtual 3MT® People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice competition ran from 25 – 29 June 2020 and Swaraj won 59% of the vote.

Swaraj will now progress to the video round to compete against the other Nottingham campuses. The overall winner will represent the entire University of Nottingham at the Universitas 21 (U21) Final, also via video, which will be judged by an international panel of industry and academic professionals.

Watch his winning presentation below:

Sharoen Lim Yu Ming

Runner Up

Runner up is Sharoen Lim Yu Ming from the Division of Biomedical Sciences for her presentation Integrating roundworms and herb to decode appetite and fat regulation. Sharoen described her research using roundworms called Caenorhabditis elegans or C. elegans and khat (herb) to study appetite and fat regulation. She envisioned the outcome from her research will decode, decomplex appetite and fat regulation pathway in human through a simple worm model in a novel and genetically precise way, whilst identifying the fat-regulation and appetite-associated genes for future obesity treatment development.

Watch her winning presentation below:

Congratulatory message

In her congratulatory message, Ms Deepa Kumari Veerasingam, Head of Graduate School, gave commendation to the efforts of all the contestants and further congratulated the success of the winners. “We get to see and hear the in-person presentations in our annual 3MT® live event at the Great Hall. But this year, everything that we used to do has to be tweaked to adopt an entirely online setting. Nevertheless, I am very pleased and proud to watch a lineup of highly effective communicators presenting their outstanding research in this year’s virtual 3MT®. It is a great testament to the high quality of postgraduate research students at UNM. Well done to all the contestants and many congratulations to the winners,” wrote Deepa.

For more information, please contact graduateschool@nottingham.edu.my.

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