First prize - Jame Gallagher, University of Glasgow
The judges awarded Jamie Gallagher of the University of Glasgow First Prize for his presentation entitled “Hot and Powerful” on the subject of nanostructured thermoelectronic materials. Jamie is a member of the Schools of Chemistry and Engineering and his thesis explores the possibility of improving existing thermoelectronic processes to create greater efficiency and usability. Jamie has been awarded a bursary of US$2,500 to visit a U21 university of his choice in order to benefit his research or ongoing career development.
On choosing Jamie, Professor Alan Lawson of the judging panel commented “we were impressed by Jamie’s ability to communicate complex technical detail, to set it in the context of potential applications, to share the exhilaration of his engagement with the project, and to maintain the interest and understanding of a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.”
On being informed of his award, Jamie said “I am utterly delighted to have won the Universitas 21 Three Minute Thesis competition. The entries from around the globe were all extraordinarily good and it is a great honour to be selected. Here at the University of Glasgow we are encouraged to take our research out of the lab and classroom to share and learn from as many people as possible and I've had a fantastic experience doing this. I look forward to visiting another Universitas 21 institution as part of the prize and learning from others interested in making their research accessible, interesting and in demonstrating its real world relevance. I would encourage as many people as possible to have a go at the 3 minute challenge.”
Highly Commended - Nellie Liander, Lund University
The panel of judges highly commended Nellie Linander of Lund University's faculty of science for her presentation entitled "Visually Guided Obstacle Avoidance in Flying Insects" which explained her thesis on flight control in bumble bees. Nellie has been awarded US$500 towards her academic pursuits.
Nellie said of receiving this prize “First of all I want to say that I had a lot of fun throughout this competition – both in Lund and while video recording my contribution to the international final. It was a challenge to condense information about my research down to a three-minute talk, and still manage to make it understandable to a general audience. A very useful experience! One of the funniest comments that I got on my video was from a friend whom I’ve tried to explain my research to before, they said: 'Wow – NOW I understand what you are working with!' I’m so glad that I decided to participate in this competition!”
Professor Sven Strömqvist, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at Lund University, said of Nellie's award:“Congratulations to Nellie Linander, we are very proud of her! And congratulations to U21 for an excellent initiative. We enjoyed it thoroughly and the doctoral students found it a lot of fun and very educational. Let’s give all doctoral students the opportunity to enjoy this element of communicative training!"
People's Choice - Lindsey Brinton, University of Virginia
All video presentations from finalists in the 2013 U21 3MT competition were available for public viewing through Vimeo. The favourite and winner of the People's Choice prize was Lindsey Brinton of the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Biomedical Engineering. Her presentation focussed on the early detection of pancreatic cancer and received 358 likes out of a total of 1,729 received on all videos. Lindsey has been awarded US$300 towards her academic pursuits.
Lindsey said of her prize:“The biggest thing this competition did for me was train me to explain my research in an accessible way, to explain science to an intelligent audience without relying on discipline-specific jargon. It was very gratifying to get such an enthusiastic response both from close friends and from people I don't even know. Many of my friends told me, "I never really knew what you do before I watched your video."
The judges wished to make it known how difficult they found the selection process due to the excellent quality of entries, and consequently they would also like to acknowledge Sharon Savage of UNSW Australia for her presentation “Giving Words New Life in Dementia” surrounding her research into how the use of repetition enabled dementia patients to regain their lost vocabulary, and Serbulent Turan of the University of British Columbia for his presentation “Revolt, Revolution and Imagination” exploring patterns of obedience in oppressed people, for their admirable submissions.