MSE PhD candidate, Ms Luo Yifei, has bested 7 other PhD students from universities in the region to win the 2020 Asia Pacific Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Thursday, 1 October 2020. We have made history as the first Singapore University to win the Asia Pacific 3MT Finals since its inception in 2016. The virtual competition hosted by the University of Queensland challenges participants to explain their research thesis in a clear and engaging threeminute talk aimed at non-specialists. As the Asia Pacific 3MT winner, Yifei will receive a $5000 research grant, sponsored by Springer Nature. During the Q&A segment, Yifei was asked, “How many plants that she has at her place” as well as “What got her interested in her topic for 3MT”. To which Yifei replied, “I love nature and personally would normally care for 4 to 5 plants at one time. For this project, I have used hundreds of plants!
“The transformation of the thermogel in response to changing temperature and being able to read signals from plants are both intriguing and fun,” Yifei continued. The other Asia Pacific 3MT Finals participants were: Anna Frouws – Edith Cowan University (Runner Up - $2000 research grant, sponsored by Springer Nature) Stefania Peracchi – University of Wollongong (People’s Choice Award - $1000 research grant, sponsored by UniBank) Kylie Sturgess – Murdoch University Rocco Cavaleri – Western Sydney University Theresa Pankhurst – Victoria University of Wellington Jessica Bolin – University of the Sunshine Coast Megan Burfoot – Auckland University of Technology In her talk entitled ‘Listening in on Plants through a Conductive Liquid Glue’, Yifei shared that plants can feel pain and heat just like us. They give out certain types of electrical signals that tells us how healthy a plant is. This affects the price and quality of the plant to goes on our plate. When asked how she felt after winning the Asia Pacific 3MT Finals, Yifei replied with thrilled, “I'm so proud of myself and NTU. I couldn't believe I am the winner !!” Her advise for fellow students who may hesitate to participate in 3MT in future? “Just go for it. You will not lose anything even if you don’t win. Plus, you will definitely learn something”, quips Yifei. Yifei took the opportunity to thank Dr. Ai Lin Chun for her guidance in crafting Yifei’s script. She is grateful to the Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy Division (TLPD) trainers and her peers during the 3MT workshop for their feedback and suggestions. She also thanked her supervisor, Prof Chen Xiaodong, for his full support during the competition, and of course the NTU’s 3MT organizers, NTU GSA, in collaboration with SAO and Graduate College, for a fantastic job in organizing this year’s event.
Congratulations, Yifei, on making NTU proud!