HBKU Showcases Student Research Excellence at 3MT Competition

HBKU Showcases Student Research Excellence at 3MT Competition

03 Apr 2022

PhD students present projects of national and global relevance

The winners posing for a group photo

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) hosted the finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, a dynamic showcase of the innovative research being done by its Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students, on March 21. 

This year, students from the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS) won first and second place, and a student from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) won third place, for succinctly communicating the impact of their research and its outcomes in just three minutes.

The HBKU 3MT event was opened by Dr. Michael J. Benedik, HBKU Provost, in the presence of the college deans. He highlighted the value of 3MT, and its demonstration of HBKU’s commitment to research excellence at the graduate level.

The 13 finalists, PhD candidates at the College of Islamic Studies, CSE, and CHLS, were allowed one PowerPoint slide to complement their talk. They were challenged to present to a distinguished adjudicating panel with Dr. Vicky Kynourgiopoulou, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Georgetown University in Qatar; Dr. Hazem Nounou, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Services at Texas A&M University at Qatar; and Dr. Marco Ameduri, Senior Associate Dean for Premedical Education and Education City Collaborative Curricular Affairs at Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar.

Arwa Aldaalis, PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences student at CHLS, won first place for an outstanding presentation titled “Cyclin D1 Expression Links Lipid Metabolism and Cell Growth”. Geethanjali Devadoss Gandhi, PhD in Genomics and Precision Medicine program, was awarded second place for “Genetic Burden of Hypercholesterolemia in the Qatari Population”. In third place, Amro Mamoon Mohamed, PhD in Sustainable Energy program, won for his presentation “Designing Future Nanomaterials Towards Sustainable Photonic Ammonia Production”. Along with cash prizes of QR 7,000, QR 5,000, and QR 3,000, respectively, the three students will represent HBKU in the national and MENA 3MT Competitions.

Hanan Al-Thani, Associate Vice president for Student Affairs at HBKU, commended the participants’ efforts: “We had a very memorable 3MT with our students delivering compelling presentations. They impressed us with the ease in explaining complex scientific and technical theory and highlighting the expected impact of their projects. Congratulations to our winners.”

Reem Al-Abduljabbar, Head of Student Engagement, added: “3MT is an excellent platform for enhancing students’ research communication skills. These are vital for them to achieve excellence during their learning and development journeys, and to lead in their chosen field. Our return to an in-person format gave our students the chance to connect and begin exploring opportunities to work together on interdisciplinary projects.”

The 13 finalists’ projects spanned themes of national and global relevance, tackling Qatar’s transition to a circular economy, with a focus on reusing materials to reduce pollution and waste, water treatment, sustainability and resilience in the LNG supply chain, climate change impacts on Qatar’s groundwater, and security/privacy solutions for drones. Projects in the health sciences included eye tracking for interpreting electrocardiograms, the link between diabetes, obesity, and cancer, precision medicine for colorectal cancer, and the human microbiome in kidney disease. 

Conceptualized and developed by the University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT helps students master the skills to comprehensively explain the breadth of their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes. 3MT competitions have grown in popularity and are now held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries.