By Amanda Song
Byung Jun, Materials Science and Engineering Ph.D. student, received honorable mention in this year’s 3MT® Three Minute Thesis Competition, for presenting his research to a general audience.
“My presentation discussed the effect that sand in the air can have on jet engines and their durability,” Byung said. “My work is on analyzing this interaction between contaminants in the air and specifically, the high temperature resistant coatings that the jet engines have.”
Each year, the UConn Graduate School hosts the school-wide competition, encouraging doctoral students to present their research in an impactful and condensed three-minute version. The winning presentation is then submitted to the global competition to compete against universities from around the world.
Condensing years of research and, often, many complex scientific terms into a three-minute speech for a non-technical audience is a challenge. But it’s an invaluable experience and a beneficial skill for many STEM researchers.
“The biggest benefit is in improving one’s ability to communicate with the rest of the world. It’s no use if you can’t tell people what amazing work you’re doing, right?” Byung said. “It’s hard to take that step back if you’re always surrounded by the same professionals who share that same language with you.”
Byung hopes to work in a teaching position in the future, where “any public speaking practice is good practice.”
“The notion of parsing through the content to adjust to your audience is an important lesson that I believe is applicable anywhere,” Byung said.
This year’s winner was Pharmaceutical Sciences doctoral student Koyel Sen with her presentation on custom-built drug dosages using 3D printing techniques.