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Victory for Brunel student in Three Minute Thesis final


Brunel University London PhD student Thomas Fudge has been crowned winner of this year’s UK-wide Three Minute Thesis research-communication competition.

Tom, a 2016 graduate of Brunel's MSc in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design, is now undertaking his PhD in the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences.

He was one of six finalists to present his thesis – in just three minutes - to 350 people at the 3MT Vitae conference dinner on Monday 11 September at the Birmingham Metropole.

Tom was selected by a panel for the top prize of £3,000 to spend on public engagement (sponsored by Taylor & Francis) for his presentation on the thesis, ‘Decentralised Sanitation for developing communities with energy and nutrient recovery’.

While a typical 80,000 word PhD thesis would take nine hours to present, 3MT challenges candidates to present a compelling overview of their research in just 180 seconds, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. They are allowed to use one Powerpoint slide but no other resources or props.

Director of Brunel's Graduate School, Dr Kate Hone, was in the audience with Sarah Benbow, who organised the Brunel 3MT competition, and Tina Ramkalawan, a Senior Graduate School tutor who helped Tom with his training.

Dr Hone comments: "Thomas did an amazing job last night presenting to a packed audience then winning the national final of the 3MT competition. His research explores the use of biological electrochemical systems and their application in remote and developing communities to treat wastewater and provide alternatives to basic sanitation. He has also founded a social enterprise called WASE where he is working with NGOs to develop a sanitation and energy recovery system for refugee camps.

“More than 1,000 doctoral students entered this year’s competition across the UK, so this win is an incredible achievement.”

Earlier in the day at the 3MT conference, Brunel’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julia Buckingham gave a talk on the UK Concordat to support the career development of researchers.

PhD students from Brunel have featured in the last four 3MT semi-finals with CBASS’ Chioma Paul making it to the final six in 2015 with her thesis on using fiction to explore the traumatic impact of Grenada's taboo history.

®3MT was developed by the University of Queensland, Australia. Its success has led to the establishment of local and national competitions in several countries. The UK competition has been sponsored by Vitae since 2014.


Reported by:

Sarah Cox, Media Relations