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International 3MT competition popularises scientific research

Published on 19.1.2021
Tampere University
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The world-famous academic Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will be held in Tampere for the first time. The purpose of the competition is to encourage researchers to present their research topics in a comprehensible manner to the public. In the finals, five competitors will introduce the audience to the secrets of their research in three minutes.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT), which is organised by Tampere University for the first time now, is an academic competition where doctoral candidates have three minutes to present their dissertation topic to the general public as clearly and interestingly as possible. The aim is to communicate research and its results and significance in a manner that enables non-experts to understand what it is all about.

“The aim of the competition is to develop researchers’ international presentation and communication skills as well as their ability to popularise research. At the same time, 3MT offers the general public fascinating openings to the current world of scientific research,” says Kaisa Kurki, Manager of International Affairs at Tampere University.

Good communication skills increase awareness of research

The 3MT final will be held as part of the Science Forum event on Saturday, January 23, 2021. The finalists will perform live at Tampere Hall, and the audience can watch the performances online. The language of the competition is English.

Five researchers from various faculties at Tampere University made their way to the finals. Alma Yrjänäinen from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Heidi Tuorila and Veera Koskue from the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and Mary Nurminen and Andrei Tregubov from the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences will perform in the finals. The finalists and their research topics are presented at the end of the website news item.

Tampere University’s experts from the Doctoral School and Research and Innovation Services have coached the competitors.

“A researcher who speaks skilfully and clearly about his or her research can reach audiences and partners outside the academic community more easily,” emphasises Matias Nurminen, Senior Specialist in Tampere University’s Innovation Culture development project who is coordinating the competition.

The winner of the Tampere competition will also participate in the international 3MT competition organised by the Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) virtually in Bergen, Norway in September 2021. Tampere University pays the winner’s participation costs.

The members of jury of the 3MT competition in Tampere are Director of Innovation Taru Pilvi and Professor of Communication Sciences Pekka Isotalus from Tampere University as well as Cecilia Christersson, a representative of the international competition organisation, who is Pro Vice Chancellor, Global Engagement and Challenge Based Learning at Malmö University.

The 3MT competition was founded by the Australian University of Queensland (UQ) and it is now held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide. In Finland, the University of Turku has organised the 3MT competition since 2017.

Visit the Doctoral School website to read more about the background and evaluation criteria of the 3MT competition. You can see the  Three Minutes Thesis final's programme on the event site. The virtual event takes place on Saturday 23rd of January starting at 14 o'clock. It can be followed without registration. The remote connection link will be updated on the 3MT event site.

Alma Yrjänäinen: Developing a three-dimensional, human-based study model for obesity

Alma Yrjänäinen works as a doctoral researcher at the Adult Stem Cell Group at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology at Tampere University. In her research, she focuses on creating a three-dimensional study model for obese fat tissue. This model can be used for studying cellular interactions within obesity and elucidate the biological changes in obese human fat tissue. The research is part of the Centre of Excellence in Body on Chip project, funded by Academy of Finland.

Heidi Tuorila: The Brains of Light

Heidi Tuorila is a doctoral researcher at Optoelectronics Research Centre, Photonics laboratory at the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Tampere University. Tuorila's research focuses on development of semiconductor light sources such as LEDs and lasers. These light sources can be used to build smaller and more efficient tools for example for information technology, medicine or detection of greenhouse gasses.

Veera Koskue: What you flush down the toilet might feed you in the future

Veera Koskue is a full-time doctoral researcher in the Bio and Circular Economy research group at the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Tampere University. The main focus of her research is on recovering nutrients, such as nitrogen, from wastewaters. These recovered nutrients can then be re-used as fertilizers in agriculture, which reduces the high energy consumption and environmental issues related to fertilizer production. This approach helps secure sustainable food production also in the future.

Mary Nurminen: Beyond the technology - Unexpected ways people use machine translation

Mary Nurminen teaches Translation Studies at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University. In her research, she aims to improve our understanding of the role of context in the use and reception of machine translation, which can ultimately lead to more useful machine translation solutions.

Andrei Tregubov: Model Predictive Control (MPC)

Andrei Tregubov does his doctoral research as a grant holder at the Electrical Engineering unit at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University. He works on the Model Predictive Control algorithm for industrial electric drives with induction motors that will enable better efficiency, reliability and lower hardware requirements. This aspects altogether will bring the electric drives to a new level of operation performance, thus reducing costs or energy consumption.