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Electrical Engineering PhD student advances to provincial Three Minute Thesis

Ololade Sanusi exploring new technology for blood sterilization systems

PhD candidate Ololade Sanusi (second from left), celebrates winning the university's 2017 Three Minute Thesis competition with Dr. Langis Roy, Dean, Graduate Studies (second from right), her sister Olayinka Sanusi (left) and mother Olubunmi Sanusi (right).
PhD candidate Ololade Sanusi (second from left), celebrates winning the university's 2017 Three Minute Thesis competition with Dr. Langis Roy, Dean, Graduate Studies (second from right), her sister Olayinka Sanusi (left) and mother Olubunmi Sanusi (right).

Developing a university thesis is one of the greatest academic challenges a student seeking a master’s degree or PhD faces. The content of a thesis asserts fresh knowledge on an original subject. The final document, sometimes hundreds of pages long, culminates tireless investigation and inquiry, often taking months to complete.

With so much information and structure in a typical thesis, it would be very difficult to explain its contents to an audience in as little as an hour. Given a time constraint of just three minutes, that task might seem next to impossible.

That was the challenge six University of Ontario Institute of Technology graduate students faced on March 23. All of them made the grade by taking part in the university’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT®), a competition staged annually on campuses around the globe.

The rules are simple enough: You get one chance. You can show only one static image on a screen. No props are allowed, and no, you cannot go over the time limit.

After rehearsals, heats and training workshops involving an original group of 12 candidates, the final six presented before a panel of non-specialist judges representing regional university partners and community groups. Ololade Sanusi, a PhD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, emerged as the winner for her presentation on next-generation wireless blood sterilization systems. Sanusi will represent the university at the fifth-annual provincial 3MT® competition Wednesday, April 12 at the University of Waterloo.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Three Minute Thesis event was sponsored by Covanta Durham-York Renewable Energy. The 3MT® competition was developed initially by the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2008. The competition has since spread internationally to include Canada.  

2017 University of Ontario Institute of Technology 3MT® finalists

  • Emma DePasquale***, Master of Health Sciences (Kinesiology) candidate: Are we really like our parents?
  • Eryn Frawley, Master of Science (Modelling and Computational Science) candidate: Birds of a feather flock together―How animal groups are formed
  • Kristopher Knopf, Master of Health Sciences (Community Health): A pilot spontaneous breathing trial initiative in the pediatric intensive care unit at SickKids
  • Sancgeetha Kulaseharan**, Master of Science (Modelling and Computational Science) candidate: Computational approaches to detect focal cortical dysplasia in children with epilepsy using magnetic resonance imaging
  • Michael Miljanovic, PhD (Computer Science) candidate: Adaptive serious games for computer science education
  • Ololade Sanusi*, PhD (Electrical and Computer Engineering) candidate: Next-generation wireless blood sterilization systems

* First place
** Second place
*** People’s Choice winner

2017 Three Minute Thesis community judges

  • Arlene Ali, Executive Director, Medical Science, Purdue Pharma Canada
  • James Karafilov, Senior Account Manager, Cimetrix Solutions
  • Rito Salomone, President, Resource Software International
  • Nancy Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce
  • Jennifer Turner, Business Manager, Covanta Durham-York Renewable Energy

Quotes

"I am so excited! I am happy I was able to communicate my research in a way people could relate to it. I am honoured to represent my research group, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in the upcoming provincial 3MT competition."
-Ololade Sanusi, 2017 Three Minute Thesis first-place winner

“This year’s group of competitors put on a magnificent show at Three Minute Thesis. Each participant exhibited great skill at concisely articulating key aspects of their research. 3MT is a compelling test of each student’s knowledge, confidence and poise. The university is proud of their commitment to conveying to the general public that their research is interesting and important.”
-Langis Roy, PhD, Dean, Office of Graduate Studies

“Covanta Durham-York was delighted to again participate in, and sponsor, the Three Minute Thesis competition. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is a valued community partner, and we believe students graduating from the university will add significant value to Ontario’s young workforce. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the university in the years to come.” 
-Jennifer Turner, Business Manager, Covanta Durham-York Renewable Energy

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