Auburn's 'Three Minute Thesis' winner to compete at regional conference in New Orleans

Published: March 04, 2015
Updated: March 09, 2015
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Imagine having only three minutes to explain your doctoral research to a general audience – this is the challenge for students competing in the "Three Minute Thesis" competition. An Auburn University doctoral student from the Department of Chemical Engineering recently won Auburn's competition and will now represent the university in the second annual Conference of Southern Graduate Schools' 3MT competition March 8 in New Orleans.

Narendra Sadhwani, a 2010 chemical engineering graduate of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India, won Auburn's Fall 2014 3MT, earning a berth in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools competition. His presentation, "Biomass Gasification Using Carbon Dioxide," is about the environmental and economic advantages of combining biomass and carbon dioxide for fuel and other purposes.

3MT was established by The University of Queensland in 2008 as a way for doctoral students to effectively present their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. The competition has now spread to graduate schools around the globe. Auburn held its first 3MT in 2013 and now holds an annual competition for all its graduate students.

"We are very excited to have Narendra represent Auburn University in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools competition," Graduate School Dean George Flowers said. "His research aligns closely with Auburn's land-grant mission, and he presents it in a thoughtful and engaging way.  I believe that the audience will learn in an informative and entertaining fashion about the practical applications of research being conducted at Auburn."

Sadhwani recognizes that his research is important to the general public, but that many might think it too complicated to learn more about. "3MT provides an excellent platform for me to explain my 'complicated research' in a non-technical language to a general audience," Sadhwani said.

From his presentation, Sadhwani hopes people are able to see the significant links his research supports. "I want people to take away knowledge of the basic proposition that with proper research, the economy and the environment can go hand in hand."

As Sadhwani progresses to the next phase of 3MT competition, he strives to convey to his audiences how his work connects to their lives. "Research is not about scientists in white lab coats holding test tubes, but about technologies to improve the aspects that impact our day-to-day lives."

To view Sadhwani's 3MT presentation, go to http://youtu.be/LXyBX1BWnfs. For more information about the 3MT competition at Auburn University, go to http://grad.auburn.edu/3MT.

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