Science research student wins Swinburne Sarawak’s inaugural 3MT competition

KUCHING: Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus’ research students impressed the judges and audience made up of colleagues, friends and family members at its inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition held recently.


The event saw nine postgraduate students from the campus’ Postgraduate Research Society take to the stage to explain their research in just three minutes, in language appropriate for a non-specialist audience. Subjects such as deep excavation, prosthetic robotic limbs and inter-user interference mitigation made for an interesting and informative afternoon.


It was Soh Brendard Nji’s presentation titled ‘Inter-user interference mitigation in body area networks for medical applications’ that won him first place and a sponsored trip to the competition finals to be held at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus in July. His ability to explain complex technical concepts in simple language impressed judges and the audience.

(From right) Prof Anthony Cahalan, Datu Abdul Rashid Mohd Azis, Soh, Heidi Collins and Mohd Irfaan Peerun.

(From right) Prof Anthony Cahalan, Datu Abdul Rashid Mohd Azis, Soh, Heidi Collins and Mohd Irfaan Peerun.


“My research seeks to improve the quality of disease-symptom-carrying sensor signals between patients and doctors,” he said. “This I achieve by programming sensors to compare data to be transmitted with those that were transmitted previously, only transmitting if the former is different. This frees up channels, curbs data ‘collisions’ and improves transmitted data quality, thus yielding healthier people,” he elaborated.


Soh, a Master of Science by Research student, also won the People’s Choice Award, based on audience votes. “I am elated. I didn’t see this coming, at least not both prizes,” he shared.


“Most of the competitors have innovative and mind-boggling research interests, and are eloquent public speakers. So for me to win the title of Winner and People’s Choice is an honour,” he added.


The runner-up was PhD candidate Heidi Collins from the Faculty of Business and Design with her presentation “Expatriate Spouses in Sarawak: Processes of Adaptation,” while Master of Engineering by Research student, Mohammud Irfaan Peerun took the 1st Runner-Up title for his oration on “Tunneling system in Sarawak.”


Member of the Swinburne Sarawak University Council and Board of Directors,
Datu Dr Abdul Rashid Mohd Azis was also in attendance to present mementoes to the winners, witnessed by Professor Anthony Cahalan, Pro Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Swinburne Sarawak.


The panel of judges for the competition was composed of Kim Zwalf, ProELT trainer with the British Council; Alex Ting, Construction Committee Chair, Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dunstan Chan, Distinguished Toastmaster, as well as three judges from the faculties and departments of the

The 3MT concept was at founded by the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008. Meant as an exercise to develop academic, presentation and research communication skills amongst postgraduate students, the concept has rapidly gained popularity and has now been adopted by 170 universities across more than 17 countries worldwide.


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