The 2020 Three Minute Thesis Competition or 3MT (as it is widely known), took place recently at Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), with the hotly-contested first prize being taken out by Bachelor of Audio Production student, Jesse Brand and his presentation entitled “Virtual Musicality: The Applications of Virtual Reality in Music Production and Performance”.
3MT is an international competition which originated in Australia in 2008. Held in more than 200 universities worldwide, SIT has been running 3MT since 2013. The challenge for participants is to present their research in just three minutes, in such a way that it can be understood by an audience who may have no previous knowledge of the research area.
The competition format helps students to develop their communication, presentation and research skills, and shows their capability in informing on their research work.
A finalist from each of the degree and graduate diploma programmes at SIT is chosen to compete in the competition, and there were ten finalists this year, representing: Audio Production, Environmental Management, Sport and Exercise, Massage Therapy, Engineering and IT.
SIT Research Manager and competition facilitator, Dr Sally Bodkin-Allen said there were high standards set across all subjects.
“We had a record number of entries this year, the standard was very high, and the student research projects were extremely impressive. There is a high level of engagement with local industry and a real focus on real-world applied research”.
Held on Friday November 6th, in Hansen Hall, the students presented to a panel of three judges, in front of an audience of student supporters and SIT staff. This year’s judging panel consisted of: Debbie Ruwhiu and Dr Jerry Hoffman of SIT, and one outside judge, Ann Bodkin. Each judge focused on one element of the presentation: Communication Style, Comprehension, and Engagement.
Dr Bodkin-Allen said first place honours were given to Mr Brand because “the judges loved the way Jesse told the story of his research, he wove every element together. His research project, of using virtual reality technology in online music events was particularly innovative and exciting”.
Mr Brand won a $250 cash prize, which will be awarded at the SIT Awards night on Tuesday, 1st December.
Second place went to Chameli Liyanage - representing the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management with a presentation entitled “Too much, too little, too dirty: Perceptions and Attitudes to Invercargill’s Water Management”.
Sruthy Pramod from the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) won third place with her presentation, “Bridge Construction over Waihopai River at Invercargill Industrial Park”.
The event also provides a platform to showcase posters of student research projects. Organised by Dr Christine Liang from the School of Environmental Management, there were about 30 posters on display for the audience, who had time to view the students’ work before and after the presentations and during the judges deliberation.