Kiara Bruggeman, Engineering PhD student has taken out first place, and the people’s choice award in the College’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.
The competition saw students from the Research School of Computer Science and the Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering come together to present their research in bite-sized and easy to understand three minute presentations.
All of the topics presented on the day were engaging and well-received by the enthusiastic audience and expert judging panel. Kiara’s presentation "How to Build a Brain" stood out from the crowd, winning her top marks from judges Mark Reid, Adi Chopra and Marina Lobastov. Narjess Afzaly from the Research School of Computer Science came in at a very close second place.
Kiara’s research involves developing biomaterials that help brain cells repair damaged tissue.
“Stem cells look to their surroundings for clues as to how to behave, so I design biomaterials that tell them to become healthy brain cells in order to repair damaged brain tissue. I also hide drugs in the materials that release at prearranged times so healing can be aided over time without the damage of additional brain surgery.”
Obviously skilled in her rapid-fire presentations, Kiara also came second in the ANU-wide Open Day Three Minute Thesis practice competition, held only two days after the College’s competition, taking away $500 in winnings.
“I think the 3MT competition is a great way to connect very specialized research with a very interested world. We all focus on our own little areas, but more and more research innovations are coming out of collaborative work where different fields come together. I hope that sharing our work through the 3MT, in a way that everyone can understand, might spark ideas and interest in other fields, potentially leading to some really clever collaborative solutions.”
As College winner, Kiara received a $1000 research support grant and will now go on to the 3MT ANU Finals at 6:30pm in Manning Clarke Lecture Theatre 1 on Wednesday, 17 September.
“I've been attending the workshops and practices organized by the ANU 3MT people to prepare for the final. It would be great to win at the final, but there is some strong competition from the other colleges and quite a few people who deserve to represent the ANU.”
Register to attend the final and show Kiara your support.