And the AUT 3MT Winners Are…

Thanks to all those who came along to the AUT 3MT finals last Friday to cheer on their friends and colleagues. COVID-19 may have forced us online, but it was great to see the chat section of our livestream buzzing with positive comments and support for our competitors.

There were 8 finalists – 6 doctoral and 2 masters – vying for the AUT 3MT titles. And the winners are…


AUT 3MT Masters Winner – Marianne Carroll

Marianne is researching the link between muscle knots in the gluteus medius and hip tightness / weakness. Her presentation described the potential for her research to improve physiotherapy treatments and outcomes for patients with lower back pain. The judges were impressed with how Marianne’s presentation logically and sequentially covered the points that audience members would wish to know about the purpose, design, and impact of her research.

AUT 3MT Doctoral Winner – Megan Burfoot

Megan has designed a rotating louvre system that automatically adjusts the sound reverberations in a classroom, so that children can learn in the best possible acoustic environment. Her presentation described her research comparing the performance of her system to traditional soft panels in five classrooms, under four different teaching styles. Megan’s work could enhance voice clarity in classrooms, improving learning outcomes for students and reducing voice strain for teachers. The judges noted Megan’s clear communication of her research and its relevance, and her excellent vocal diction, pace, and use of time.

AUT 3MT Doctoral Runner-Up – Negin Ahmadi Saber Doust

Negin’s research investigates ways in which members of the furniture supply chain can collaborate to improve the industry’s sustainability. Through her engagement with furniture retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and logistics organisations, Negin has found that improved sustainability education in schools and universities could improve the environmental innovation of the furniture industry by equipping employees with knowledge of how to improve industry practice. The judges were impressed with Negin’s coverage of the main issues related to her research, including its potential outcomes.

AUT 3MT Audience Vote Winner – Afiq Abdul Hamid

By detecting tiny variations in the arrival times of pulsar signals, astronomers can learn about the gravitational waves that ‘stretch’ and warp space. But ionised gas clouds can delay pulsar signals and interrupt our ability to detect the variations caused by gravitational waves. Afiq’s research focuses on detecting pulsar signals through this ‘cosmic haze.’ His presentation described how his research can be used to test Einstein’s theory of relativity, and how it could have implications for aircraft navigation, fast internet, and more precise measurements of time.


Congratulations to all our winners, and a huge round of applause to all our finalists and 3MT entrants. It’s a tough job to present an entire thesis-worth of research in just three minutes – and this year, you faced the additional challenge of presenting to camera and editing your video. Well done everyone!

Watch Our Winners as they Represent AUT

Our doctoral and masters 3MT winners will go on to represent AUT at the next level of 3MT competition.

Marianne Carroll will represent AUT at the 2020 National Universities Masters 3MT Competition. The event will take place online on Thursday 17 September, 5-6pm. You can register to watch here.

Megan Burfoot will represent AUT at the 2020 Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition, hosted by the University of Queensland. Semi-finalists in the competition will be showcased online, and if Megan makes the finals of the Asia-Pacific competition, supporters will be able to register to view the finals event on 1 October.

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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