Can you sum that up?

Can you sum that up?
The Winner of the 2015 Competition was AE Doctoral Candidate Johnny Walker
Atlanta, GA

The Annual 3-Minute Thesis competition presents a unique challenge for detail-oriented engineers: keep it short, keep it clear, keep it accurate.  Your high school English teacher should understand every word.
The deadline to enter is September 12.

Imagine cutting down years of research into a three-minute presentation. That was Jonathan Walker’s challenge when it came to preparing for the 2015 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

“I mean, it took me several weeks to condense two and a half year’s research into one slide and a short talk,” said Walker, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. “Initially, there were so many little things I wanted to include. But, I was forced to really think about the big picture and what the main messages of my research are.”   

Walker went on to win the first annual 3MT competition at Georgia Tech with his presentation titled, “Leaving Ancient Rocket Engines Behind.” Now, it’s your chance to see if you’ve got what it takes to win the 2016 3MT event, which will be held on Nov. 15.

The competition, which started at the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008, challenges participants to present their thesis research in three minutes in a way that any audience can understand. For example, Walker got inspiration from TED talks as he put together his presentation.

“I had to use language that both captured the important concepts of my research and was understandable to an audience of outsiders, so I had to avoid using technical terminology and jargon,” he said. “This was a really helpful exercise that gave me a great perspective on what research means to a broader audience. Win or lose, the experience the competition gives in presenting is invaluable.”

3MT is open to any doctoral student currently involved in dissertation research and not graduating this fall. The top presenters will receive research travel grants and a chance to compete at the district level.

A workshop will be held on Sept. 5 to help students prepare for the competition, and the preliminary rounds will be held Oct. 20 and 27.

The deadline to register for this year’s competition is Sept. 12. For more information, visit


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Find out more about this competition:

Attend a workshop, Sept. 8: