David Hobbs beats pressure of the egg timer

david-hobbsPhD candidate in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, David Hobbs (pictured), has won the stage final of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition at Flinders University.

Mr Hobbs, who was one of eight students who took part in Friday’s final, won first prize for his presentation on his project which looks at haptic gaming to help children with cerebral palsy.

With a single, static PowerPoint slide as a backdrop and without the aid of props or other audio-visual material, each of these PhD candidates was required to explain their research project to a three-person judging panel and the audience as plainly and engagingly as possible.

Mr Hobbs takes home $2000 and will travel to Perth next month to take part in the Australia and New Zealand grand final of the 3MT competition.

Dean of Graduate Research, Professor Jeri Kroll, said the competition was a terrific way for students to learn how to explain the significance of their research.

“The ability to explain their research, clearly and succinctly, is essential to helping these students’ colleagues, the wider community and the government understand why and how their research is important,” Professor Kroll said.

“These students deeply care about what they’re doing, so the competition is also a way of learning how to communicate their passion to a non-specialist audience,” she said.

“Most of the presenters memorise their pitch, which gives them a chance to practice oral presentation too. There have been some terrific performances already in the Faculty finals. It’s going to be fun.”

The students chosen from each of the University’s four faculties as finalists are:

Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law
Stefania Velardo (winner), Hannah Kent (runner-up)

Faculty of Health Sciences
Tanya Bernardo (winner) and Shan He (runner-up)

Faculty of Science and Engineering
David Hobbs (winner), Michael Taylor (runner-up)

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Sarah John (winner), Kathyayini Rao (runner-up)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition was developed by and first held at the University of Queensland in 2008.

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