A project researching the role of nature in automotive safety has won RMIT's Three Minute Thesis competition.
Hua Qian Ang, a PhD candidate in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, took home the major prize at the annual event and also won the People's Choice award.
The 3MT competition challenges higher degree by research candidates to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes.
Ms Ang decided to enter the competition with her thesis topic, "Nature: the future of automotive safety", following encouragement from her supervisor Dr Monir Takla.
She presented a brief overview of her investigation into alternative methods of reinforcing vehicles using materials made with cellular structures similar to those found in nature.
"I had read so many papers on my research topic, so my supervisor suggested I take part in the competition as he believed it would help me narrow down my research focus - and he was completely right," she said.
"Participating in a 3MT competition is like being on a roller coaster ride.
"The duration is short, but you feel a great sense of satisfaction when you know you can endure the anxiety and successfully present your research to the world."
3MT winner Hua Qian Ang with runner-up Duncan Law.
Ms Ang will represent RMIT at the 2014 Trans-Tasman Three Minute Thesis national final at the University of Western Australia in early November.
Duncan Law, PhD candidate in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, was runner-up with the topic "Modelling Open Science".
The other finalists, all PhD candidates at RMIT, were:
- Ramya Rachmawati, School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, "Optimisation models in fire management"
- Justin Nguyen, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, "Environmentally Responsible Banking in Australia"
- Julija Knezevic, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, "Interpreter: Precarious 'Premium' Office Flower?"
- Lauren Ferro, Games and Experimental Entertainment Laboratory (GEELab), School of Media and Communications, "perfekt.ID - personalised game-like experiences"
RMIT's 3MT finalists: Ramya Rachmawati, Julija Knezevic, Hua Qian Ang, Lauren Ferro, Justin Nguyen and Duncan Law.
Contestants were judged on comprehension, content, engagement and communication and were only allowed one slide to help communicate their message.
Judges for the competition were Professor Calum Drummond (RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President), Leonie Walsh (Victoria's Lead Scientist, from the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation), Jacinta Parsons (Triple R Broadcaster and Live-to-air Coordinator), Austin Ley (Manager, City Research, City of Melbourne) and Dr David Glanz (Senior Manager, Communications, RMIT).