PITTSBURGH (March 29, 2019) … The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition, developed by The University of Queensland, helps higher degree students hone their research communication skills by challenging them to effectively explain their research in three minutes to a non-specialist audience. The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering held a school-wide event where the Department of Bioengineering swept all three awards.
Piyusha Gade, a graduate student researcher in the lab of Dr. Anne Robertson, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, captured first place. Her work involves rationally designing in situ engineered vascular grafts in young and aged hosts.
“I think effective science communication is extremely vital,” said Gade. “Especially today, it is not enough to just do good scientific work; you also need to communicate its relevance and impact to really make a change. Being a part of this competition helped me to take a step back and look at the big picture to understand where my work fits into it. I loved trying to figure out how to boil down five years worth of research into three minutes!”
Gerald Ferrer, a graduate student in the Orthopaedic Robotics Lab helmed by Bioengineering Professor Richard Debski, tied for second place with Aneesh Ramaswamy, a graduate student in the Vascular Bioengineering Lab of David Vorp, Associate Dean for Research and John A. Swanson Professor of Bioengineering.
3MT is designed to encourage students to communicate the importance of their research to the broader community. Since its launch in 2008, the 3MT competition has expanded to 67 countries, and events are currently held at more than 600 universities worldwide.
This was the first time that the Swanson School hosted its own prequalifying event. Gade will move on to the university-wide competition on April 1, and the winner of the university competition will go on to compete in the 2019 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition.
“The Three Minute Thesis competition provided an excellent opportunity for our graduate students to reflect on their work and strengthen their ability to clearly and effectively communicate their research,” said Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Nickolas A. Dececco Professor of Industrial Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “These professional development activities help inspire our students to pursue academic excellence, and I look forward to holding this event again next year.”
Contact: Leah Russell