A twist to the 3MT Challenge

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an annual competition that challenges Graduate Research students to present their research and its significance in under 180 seconds with the use of only one PowerPoint slide. On 25 June 2020, there was a slight twist to the competition - it was held virtually!

Caleb Cheah from the School of Science won the competition with his topic on "EPS: An Attractive Solution to Metal Pollution". Cheah’s research is focused on solving the problem of metal pollution in water which could cause metal poisoning in humans. According to him, Mother Nature has provided a cost-effective solution - an environmental bacteria that can clean up pollution. However, the wide application of these bacteria can potentially cause and spread diseases. Thus, a safer and more attractive approach is to extract and use biomolecules known as “exopolymeric substances” or EPS from bacteria. These EPS act as magnets that can successfully absorb and remove metal in water without posing any health threats.

“In my PhD research, I extract EPS from a few types of bacteria, improve the quality of these EPS and try to apply them in industrial settings. My research aims to improve water treatment worldwide by fighting metal pollution via EPS,” Cheah said.

Cheng Fung May from the School of Engineering came in second while Lee Mei Sin from the School of Information Technology came in third.

"The Culprit of Air Pollution: Risk Spillover from Energy Market to Carbon Market" by Sanggetha VP Vellachami from the School of Business was a crowd-pleaser, earning her the People's Choice Award.

Cheah will be representing Monash University Malaysia at the Monash University 3MT®️ Final of Australia on 18 August 2020 while Sanggetha will be representing us at the Wildcard round for a chance to compete for a place in the Monash University 3MT®️ Final of Australia.

The judging panel consisted of Dr Nirmala Devarajan, the Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, Associate Professor Dr Arkendu Sen, the Academic Director Campus Education Excellence, and Dr Mark Chia, the Director Data Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (ASTRO).

Congratulations to all the winners and all the best in your upcoming competition!