26 September 2011

Three minutes to scratch that itch

People suffering from persistent dermatitis will no longer be scratching if Amy Tan's research is successful.

 

Ms Tan from the School of Health Sciences won the RMIT University Three Minute Thesis competition and will compete in the Australasian 3MT final at the University of Western Australia on Thursday.

Her PhD research within the discipline of Chinese Medicine is into atopic dermatitis, the most common skin disease in the world.

"My research aims to look for a safer and more effective treatment," she told the RMIT final.

For the second year running, research students from all over Australia and New Zealand will converge to fight it out for the first prize of a $5,000 travel scholarship.

The 3MT competition asks research students to present their research topic and its impact in ordinary language and with just a single PowerPoint slide.

Dr Inger Mewburn, from the School of Graduate Research, coordinated the RMIT 3MT.

"The competition is challenging because the work of these students is so complex, but the six finalists still managed to interest and engage the 130-strong audience," she said.

"The range of topics showcased the diversity of research at RMIT.

"The runner-up, Susan Inglis from the Graduate School of Business and Law talked about how to enable the flow of knowledge to achieve organisational objectives.

"The People's Choice was Bryan McCauley from the School of Business IT and Logistics, who spoke about understanding how and why people play games on mobile devices.

"Stephen Sun from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering talked about the challenge of foreign object damage to the landing gear of aircraft.

"Betty Sargent from the School of Media and Communication spoke about using story books to educate cross-generational audiences about migration.

"And Arthur Shelley from the Graduate School of Business and Law spoke about using metaphors to help people get along in boardrooms."

The judges - Dr Roslyn Sayers, Head of Strategy and Performance Controlling with Siemens Ltd; Dr Kathy Bell, CEO of The Heart Foundation; and Professor Daine Alcorn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President - praised all the contestants.

Those chose Ms Tan for the great job she did in explaining the impact and importance of her research.

Ms Tan is a former RMIT Foundation student. Nigel Wood, Director of the RMIT International College, said: "Amy joined us in 2005 and achieved straight high distinctions during her time in the Media and Communications program.

"We're very proud of her - and of the RMIT pathways that produce such great students!"

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