BRISBANE, 27 Sept. – A PhD student from the School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Cassendra Bong Phun Chien, made UTM proud as she represented the nation in the Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition held at the University of Queensland (UQ).

Contesting with the other 57 semi-finalists, Cassendra showcased her capacity to effectively explain the significance of her research on ‘Waste Food Conversion into Biogas using Microorganism’ in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience.

Cassendra was accompanied by the Chairperson of Malaysia Dean Council of Graduate Studies (MyDEGS) and also Chair of School of Graduate Studies, UTM, Professor Dr. Zaidatun Tasir and the Secretary of MyDEGS, Associate Professor Dr. Astuty Amrin.

The 2018 Asia-Pacific 3MT competition was officiated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor of UQ, Professor Dr. Alastair McEwan who also led the panel of judges.

Cassendra explaining the significance of her research ideas at the 2018 Asia-Pacific 3MT competition

Cassendra together with participants from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were evaluated based on their presentations’ comprehensiveness and clarity as well as their creativity to convey research ideas using layman’s terms rather than technical jargons.

Cassendra was the first runner-up in the engineering category at the National Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition held in Universiti Teknologi Petronas, and was the winner of Best of the Best at UTM level.

University of Queensland is the pioneering university that introduced 3MT competition as a platform to cultivate students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills, and to date, 3MT has now become a globally recognised competition with over 600 institutions across 65 countries holding this event at the national level.

This year, the Asia-Pacific competition was sponsored by a global academic publisher, Springer Nature.