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  • 2020 UTS 3MT Final - Online

    25 August, 2020


  • It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2020 UTS Three Minute Thesis Final online. Basically we are condensing three or four years of hard work into just three minutes.

    My thesis aims to investigate how clinicians currently understand and assess both unilateral neglect and proprioceptive impairment - Georgia Fisher, Graduate School of Health

    My results suggest that even such a simple prompt can help loss making investors lose around fifty percent less money. - Anirudh Dhawan, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School

    I am inspired by a framework all about achieving social foundations whilst not pushing the ecological limits - Naomi Carrard, Institute for Sustainable Futures

    I think what you did so well was make so clear what was at stake here.

    The internet has become inundated with fake news and the prevailing wisdom is that we should tolerate these stories in the name of freedom of speech - Robert Size, Faculty of Law

    I think its very timely research that you are doing, given the predominance of fake news in the media.

    We used to think a time like this would never come, a time when water is a luxury - Nawshad Akther, Faculty of Engineering and IT

    Not all heroes wear capes but might just be found at the beach or in a pencil case.

    I was left excited by your research and certainly understood that you were excited about it as well.

    You have to avoid cooking, forget the heater and even delay your medical exams to try and pay your bills on time. This is the reality of one in four Australian households. - Caroline Porto Valente, School of Built Environment, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building

    Your very enthusiastic, passionate approach to your research is really engaging.

    What if I told you plants suck, literally. I mean we know this already, plants suck up nutrients, water, love, but did you know that plants can suck up contaminants and clean soils in the process? - Annaclaire McDonald, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science

    The way we perceive and start to give human identities to these devices is when the lines between human and artificial intelligence starts to blur. - Indra McKie, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

    My research is building a strategic map to not only empower Australians to make change towards sustainability goals but equip them with the knowledge of the barriers and enablers that exist to doing that. - Jarnae Leslie, Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation

    The runner up award goes to Georgia Fisher, and congratulations.

    And the People's Choice goes to Caroline Porto Valente. Well done Caroline.

    So congratulations to Nawshad Akther.

  • web section

    An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present.

    Their time limit:
    3 MINUTES!

  • About 3MT

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    Prizes and rules

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    Faculty heats

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    Eligibility and progression

  • 3MT

    Previous winners

    2020 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

  • Take a look at this sketch, you know they used to imagine times like these in science fiction novels.

    In fact, we used to think a time like this would never come, a time when water is a luxury and a day

    is planned with a limited amount of fresh water.

    Well, science fiction may soon become a reality.

    Last year drought affected 98 percent of New South Wales, the worst ever recorded.

    Soon after the Australian bushfires placed immense pressure on our depleting water resources.

    Until today the ashes continue to contaminate our water supplies.

    Growing population and reduced projected rainfall mean that we need to be prepared for water shortages.

    But fear not, today I'm here to share with you there is a solution right along our very vast coastline:

    desalination plants it is.

    Now desalination plants use membranes which are like filters to produce fresh water from seawater.

    However, these membranes require frequent cleaning and have a low throughput that drive energy costs through the roof.

    My PhD looks into improving the efficiency of these membranes.

    So here's a bit of a back story: there is this amazing chemical found in a tool that every single one of us have used before, a pencil.

    Graphene oxide or GO derived from pencil lead can be added to the membranes for improved performance, but my research found that GO creates defects that require toxic chemicals to be fixed.

    So what can be done to get rid of these defects?

    I found that all we need to do is mix GO with something special found in all living organisms, the water channels in our cell membranes. We call them Aquaporins.  

    While GO acts as a magnet to attract the water molecules to the membrane surface, Aquaporins act as plaster to heal the defects created by GO.

    Together they selectively allow water molecules to pass through and increase water production by three folds, improve selectivity by 30 percent and remove the use of toxic chemicals.

    The kicker: my membrane can be prepared using standard industrial printing process.

    This technique is a proprietary method for increasing water production and reducing water costs by 40 percent in a typical desalination plant.

    With our water supplies entirely dependent on rainfall without desalination, it's time to transform our desalination plant with innovative technique such as mine for guaranteed security of future generations water supply, as they live through drought.

    Thank you.