Passion, Engagement, and Innovation at 2024 UBCO 3MT Competition

The 2024 UBCO 3MT Finalists and Judges. From left to right: Pawanjit Kaur Sandhu, Saba Saleem, Megan Lance, Kyla Coates, Roland Samuel, Paula Quinn, Clare Wiznura, Sheela Mbogo, Rifah Rafia Monir, Dr. Marie Tarrant, Dr. Alex Kent, Lixin Tu. Not pictured: Alaa Al Hawarneh

From art for reconciliation to the politics of language to pipe leak detection, UBC Okanagan graduate students shone at the 2024 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Finals! Presenting master’s or doctoral research in just three minutes is no small feat, and the ten competitors did just that. Through their engaging talks, the graduate students demonstrated their passion for their research and educated the audience on a wide range of topics.

Winner Pawanjit Kaur Sandhu with judge Paula Quinn

At the end of the day, Pawanjit Kaur Sandhu, Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student, took home the top prize of $3,000 with her presentation, “How many amino acids are there?” Pawanjit’s innovative research aims to discover the abundance and diversity of amino acids in plants, and will lead to the development of tools to study amino acid metabolism with applications in human health, agriculture, and food safety.

Runner-up Saba Saleem with judge Dr. Marie Tarrant

The runner-up was Saba Saleem, Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering student, with her presentation, “Is kidney care making us sick? Revolutionizing current practices for green healthcare.” Saba’s research focusses on pioneering sustainable practices in kidney care, integrating environmental conservation with healthcare innovation through lifecycle assessment with the aim of promoting a healthier future for patients and the planet.

alumni UBC People’s Choice Winner Kyla Coates with judge Dr. Alex Kent

The alumni UBC People’s Choice Award, as voted by the audience, went to Kyla Coates, Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology student, with her presentation, “Testing the waters of heat therapy to improve cardiovascular health.” Kyla’s research focuses on the use of passive heat therapy to improve health and functional capacity in people with chronic disease with the goal of determining if passive heat therapy could be used as a replacement or addition to exercise in those who cannot exercise sufficiently.

Kicking off the event were faculty presenters Dr. Susan Murch from the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science and Dr. Lesley Lutes from the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who were both up for the challenge of presenting their research in three minutes. Dr. Murch answered the question, “How do plants grow?” while Dr. Lutes explained her efforts towards “Increasing access to evidence-based psychological services in primary care.”

Overall, it was a fantastic evening full of passion, engagement, and innovation. Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants for an incredible evening!

Come cheer on Pawanjit at the Western Canadian Regional 3MT Competition hosted at UBCO on Wednesday, May 8th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the UNC Ballroom.  Get your in-person ticket now or mark your calendar to stream online.

One response to “Passion, Engagement, and Innovation at 2024 UBCO 3MT Competition”

  1. Barbara Duck

    Innovative concept. Reminds me of the elementary school speech contests but on an i credible level! Concise understanding and presentation must be a treat to hear. Bravo all!

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