‘Turning wine into water’, made a splash for a University of Johannesburg (UJ) student on Friday 26 October. With this topic, Ms Oluwademilade Fayemiwo gained the runner-up spot in the national 3MT competition. Three weeks before, she won the UJ round from among 17 other competitors on 7 September, walking away with both the judges’ and the audience awards.
In the 3MT competition, PhD students have three minutes to share why their doctoral research can make a difference in the world. The competition was created in 2008 by the University of Queensland in Australia. Over 600 universities and other research institutions compete in the global competition.
On 26 October, Ms Fayemiwo and the UJ round runner-up, Mr Watson Munyanyi, represented UJ at the national 3MT competition. The event took place at the UFS Bloemfontein campus, and was hosted by the University of the Free State’s Postgraduate School.
“One of the fears in South Africa is running out of clean water. We tend to think that is a problem for rural South Africa. But what if I told you that the water in your tap is not as clean as you think it is?” asks Ms Oluwademilade Fayemiwo in her 3MT presentation ‘From wine to water: Searching within for clean water’.
Ten PhD candidates from five universities competed on the day. They represented UJ, the Durban University of Technology, the University of Cape Town, the University of the Free State and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The winner was Mr Rene Nsanzubuhoro, a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town. As national 3MT winner, Mr Nsanzubuhoro received a cheque for R16 000 while runner-up Ms Fayemiwo received R11 000.
Ms Fayemiwo says competing in 3MT has been the most nerve-wracking experience of her postgraduate journey. But it is also an exciting opportunity to develop her presentation skills.
“The 3MT competition has ingrained in me the importance of doing things with excellence. It is easy to say a lot of non-impactful things and beat around the bush when you have a lot of time. But when you only have three minutes, you really start to think about what’s important and what’s not,” says Fayemiwo.
As the UJ 3MT winner, Ms Fayemiwo also competed in a third 3MT competition. The UJ Postgraduate School filmed her 3MT presentation. The video was then entered in the competition of winners from other U21 universities. The first prize in the virtual U21 3MT competition is US$2500.
The 2018 winner of the U21 3MT competition is Jonathan Berengut from UNSW Sydney. He won with the presentation ‘Bio-Nano Robo-Mofos‘, about a technique called ‘DNA origami’. It is possible to build billions of nanoscale robots with this technique. Each robot is thousands of times smaller than the thickness of a single hair, and can do complex molecular tasks, such as delivering anti-cancer drugs.
More about the U21 3MT competition, and videos of presentations, here.
More about the UJ 3MT competition, and videos of presentations, here.
More about the global 3MT competition here.
More about the UJ Postgraduate School here.