"I love astronomy, and I wish everyone in the audience also loves astronomy after my presentation…Astronomy is the oldest natural science studied by human beings. To understand the celestial objects, astronomers apply possibly every single advancement of human's wisdom into the field. Condensing the essence of astrophysics in 3 minutes is not an easy task," says Brian Chan, Champion of the HKU 3MT 2017 and winner of the Online People’s Choice Award.

“This competition did infuse a sense of strength, confidence and responsibility to make people aware of my ongoing work, a challenge-taking attitude to make people of divergent backgrounds to care about my work, and above all, it made me try to deeply analyze the basic take-home messages of my own work. Taken together, 3MT has been a competition worth putting effort into!” Shrestha Ghosh, the First Runner-Up and winner of the People’s Choice Award.

“Putting years of research into a 3-minute speech is no easy task and presenting it explicitly in an appealing way to the general public is even more challenging. 3MT is a very unique experience compared to all my previous academic talks. It provides me an opportunity to share on stage my research in a non-technical way with people of diverse background,” says Sibyl Mak, the Second Runner-up.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 2017 of HKU was successfully held on March 6, 2017. This year 31 research postgraduate (RPg) students participated in the competition, and 10 finalists were shortlisted to compete for 3 prizes decided by the adjudicating panel and the People's Choice Award decided by audience ballot. The Online People's Choice Award was awarded to the finalist who received the most 'LIKE' votes on YouTube after the competition.

The 3MT was developed by The University of Queensland, Australia in 2008. It is an academic competition that challenges RPg students to explain their research within 3 minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by RPg students and encourages them to develop the skills to communicate the importance of their research to the broader community.

Professor Peter Mathieson, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKU, officiated at the final competition. Mr Francis Tin-fan Yuen, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Ortus Capital Management Ltd, and Mr Edward K.F. Chow, Founder and Chairman of China Infrastructure Group and HKU Council member, served on the adjudicating panel as external members. Internal members of the adjudicating panel included Professor John Bacon-Shone, Associate Director of the Knowledge Exchange Office (KEO), who served as the Chairman of the panel, Professor John Kao, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global), Dr Roger Chan of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Professor Paul Cheung of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Professor Adam Jaworski of the School of English and Professor Ben Young, Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

Congratulations to all the winners of the HKU 3MT Competition 2017. They are:


Champion and Online People’s Choice Award Winner

Name: Mr Ming Yan CHAN, Brian
  MPhil candidate in the Faculty of Science
Presentation Title: Peering Through Space and Time with Nature’s Cosmic Telescope
Primary Supervisor: Dr Jeremy Jin Leong LIM


1st Runner-up and People's Choice Award Winner 

Name: Ms Shrestha GHOSH
  PhD candidate in the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Presentation Title: Live Life…Queen Size…
Primary Supervisor: Professor Zhongjun ZHOU


2nd Runner-up

Name: Ms Sze Yi MAK, Sibyl
  PhD candidate in the Faculty of Engineering
Presentation Title: Control of Water-Based Fluid in Microfluidics
Primary Supervisor: Dr Anderson SHUM


“If you want to translate your research or innovation into real impact on society, you have to make it accessible beyond academic publications. You have to make it readily understood by potential funders and partners, the media and the general public. That’s why we want our RPg students to develop such awareness during their studies, and we encourage the final-year RPg students to challenge themselves by joining the 3MT,” Professor Peter Mathieson says.   

The HKU 3MT Competition was jointly organized by the Graduate School and KEO. Videos on the presentations of the awardees and finalists can be viewed here.

Awardees and finalists of the HKU 3MT Competition 2012 with Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Paul Tam and members of the adjudicating panel

Awardees, finalists and supervisors at the HKU 3MT Competition 2017 with President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson and members of the adjudicating panel

(From left, back row) Professor John Carroll (supervisor of the finalist Ms Dao Zi Huang), Professor Andy Hor (Vice-President & Pro-Vice-Chancellor [Research]), Dr Roger Chan, Professor John Kao, Mr Francis Tin-fan Yuen, Professor John Bacon-Shone, Professor Peter Mathieson, Professor Adam Jaworski, Mr Edward K.F. Chow, Professor Mee Len Chye (Dean of Graduate School), Professor Paul Cheung, Professor Bernadette Tsui (Director of Development & Alumni Affairs Office), Professor Ben Young, Dr Anderson Shum (supervisor of 2nd Runner-up Ms Sze Yi Mak), Dr Jetty C.Y. Lee (supervisor of the finalist Mr Kin Sum Leung)

(From left, front row) Mr Maurits Bastiaan Meerwijk (finalist), Ms Dao Zi Huang (finalist), Ms Yun Li (finalist), Mr Tsz Fung Ngai (finalist), Ms Shrestha Ghosh (1st Runner-up and winner of the People's Choice Award), Mr Ming Yan Chan (Champion and winner of the Online People's Choice Award), Ms Sze Yi Mak (2nd Runner-up), Ms Hui-Chun Chen (finalist), Ms Tze Kwan Li (finalist), Mr Kin Sum Leung (finalist)