March 29, 2022 l 12:00 – 1:30 pm

UBC Okanagan’s popular Three Minute Thesis Competition returns March 29, 2022.

Seven graduate students will take the virtual stage – competing for their share of $6,000 in prize money. Their challenge? To captivate you and the panel of judges while explaining their master’s or Ph.D. research in just three minutes.

Join our host Rick Webber for an exhilarating competition and learn about the exciting graduate research happening here in the Okanagan.

You will also be invited to vote for your favourite presentation for the alumni UBC People’s Choice award and ask questions of each of our graduate student presenters.


DR. LISA TOBBER l Taller, Greener, and Stronger: Engineering Resilient Cities

Sustainable city growth is becoming challenging with rising populations, an upsurge of urbanization and increasing land prices.

In responding to this challenge, many communities are looking up; with tall buildings presenting a popular solution to meet housing and commercial space demands.

The construction of tall buildings presents its own set of challenges. With the global initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, new structural systems must develop to create greener and more sustainable construction. Additionally, tall buildings are highly susceptible to damage after extreme natural disasters, such as storms and earthquakes. The numerous people and businesses affected by damage to tall buildings during natural disasters significantly reduce a city’s resiliency.

In this presentation, Dr. Lisa Tobber discusses some of the research being conducted at UBC Okanagan to develop strong and sustainable tall buildings to enhance the resiliency of growing cities.


Dr. Lisa Tobber is an assistant professor in civil engineering at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.  She received her BASc and PhD from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Tobber develops innovative structural systems for tall buildings that facilitate a low-damage response following large seismic events. Using advanced numerical simulations and large-scale experimental testing, she develops resilient, sustainable, and smart cities.

As a champion for making engineering more accessible to women and Indigenous peoples, Dr. Tobber is committed to the principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to ensure an inclusive and safe environment for teaching, learning and research.

About Three Minute Thesis


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a global academic competition started by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia in 2008. Since then, the competition has spread throughout universities across the globe. This is UBC Okanagan’s 8th Annual Three Minute Thesis competition.

The competition showcases students’ innovative research while helping students develop effective presentation and communication skills. Research-based master’s and doctoral students are challenged to present their research in a mere 180 seconds using just one static slide.

The judges look for clear language, a well-structured presentation that engages the audience, and a slide that is designed to support the speaker’s points.

2022 Finalists


Leslie Shayer - School of Education

Leslie Shayer is a student in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program. Supervised by Dr. Karen Ragoonaden, Leslie’s research focuses on the impact of contemplative pedagogy on math anxiety at the post-secondary. Leslie has been a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Okanagan College, Kelowna Campus since 2006.


Hammad Ahmad - School of Engineering

Hammad Ahmad is a student in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Civil Engineering program. Supervised by Rehan Sadiq, Hammad’s research focuses on life cycle assessment (LCA) of natural fibre-based biocomposites for sustainable construction. Hammad hopes his research will contribute significantly towards the protection of our planet’s ecosystem.


Maya Pilin - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Maya Pilin is a student in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychological Science program. Supervised by Dr. Marvin Krank, Maya’s research focuses on young adults’ thoughts and feelings about alcohol use. Specifically, Maya studies whether individuals can accurately predict how drinking will make them feel and whether they can later accurately remember these feelings.



Jocelyn Schroeder - Faculty of Health and Social Development

Jocelyn Schroeder is a student in the Master of Science in Nursing program. Supervised by Dr. Barb Pesut, Jocelyn’s research involved the development of a survey to examine Canadian nursing students’ attitudes toward and willingness to participate in Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying program (MAID).


Stephanie Ashton - Faculty of Health and Social Development

Stephanie Ashton is a student in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Kinesiology program. Supervised by Dr. Paul van Donkelaar, Stephanie’s research aims to improve RCMP responses to intimate partner violence (IPV) through the use of virtual reality training. With a 25 year career in policing, Stephanie has been devoted to championing issues related to gender-based violence and women in policing.


Jacqueline Barnett - Faculty of Science

Jacqueline Barnett is a student in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program. Supervised by Dr. Deanna Gibson, Jacqueline’s research aims to understand what, if any, impact dietary levels of Roundup® are having on our gut microbiome and behaviour across generations.


Shirley Yang - Faculty of Science

Shirley Yang is a student in the Master of Science in Biology program. Supervised by Dr. Andis Klegeris and Dr. Julien Gibon, Shirley’s research focuses on the physiological roles of intercellular signalling molecules on glial cells in neurodegenerative diseases. Shirley hopes her research can provide a fundamental mechanism to discover new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.