Explaining the complexities of reliable forensic evidence in three minutes has won a student from The University of Queensland the 2011 Australia-New Zealand Three Minute Thesis challenge held at The University of Western Australia.
Matthew Thompson, a School of Psychology and National Information and Communications Technology Research Australia (NICTA) student, beat 42 other PhD students from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, who competed to deliver the most compelling, comprehensive and easy to understand presentation of their thesis.
The Runner-up was Sydney University student Suzie Ferrie who is a Dietician at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Suzie's research is looking at measuring nutrition in the Intensive Care Unit.
The People's Choice Award went to Jack Rivers from the University of Otago, Christchurch, who is in the final few months before submitting his thesis about the future of medicinal marijuana.
The Chair of the five-member judging panel, Professor Zlatko Skrbis from the University of Queensland, said while it was an unenviable task, the decision on the winner was unanimous.
"Science is not like an independent republic in which people speak jargon."
"Matthew had the whole package. His ideas were clear and he was incredibly engaging," Professor Skrbis said.
UWA hosted the event after UWA PhD student Balarka Banerjee won the title in 2010. With this result, UQ has won back the right to host the Australia-New Zealand Three Minute Thesis challenge in 2012.
The Three Minute Thesis competition is open to Masters and Doctoral students and is judged on three criteria:
- Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience
- Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research
- Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more.
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783