Complex ideas like how to inject captured carbon into bricks and pavers will be given an express delivery by post-graduate students at the University of Newcastle today.
In just 180 seconds, each of the 20 post-graduate finalists from across the University will explain the complexities of their field of study in a way that everyone can understand, as part of the local round of the Three Minute Thesis competition.
The winner of the University of Newcastle's competition will not only win $1500 towards their research project, but will go on to represent the University and compete against post-graduate researchers from across Australia and New Zealand at the inaugural National/Trans-Tasman final in September.
Chemical engineering post-graduate researcher Reydick Balucan will use his three minutes to explain his project at the Priority Research Centre for Energy that aims to transform carbon dioxide released from coal fired power stations into construction and industrial materials.
"The whole research, with its intricacies explained in a very concise manner, has been a very good experience for me," Mr Balucan said.
"Most people know about carbon capture and storage, but taking part in Three Minute Thesis competition has helped me work out how to explain what we are doing, in a way that is easy for lay people to understand its benefits."
Dean of Graduate Studies Professor Scott Holmes said this was the first time the competition had been run by the University and about 80 students had competed in the faculty heats.
"The competition is a lot of fun, but there is a serious side as it helps the community to understand the relevance of their research," Professor Holmes said, adding there are 1200 PHD students at the University, who all make a valuable contribution to research in their field.
"After years of considering and developing how to research their idea, which can be very technical, they have to digest this information and present it in a way that captures the attention and sells it to the greater community."
Other topics to be given express delivery by the University of Newcastle finalists include 'Feeding Healthy Food to Kids', 'A New Method for Assessing the Risks of Explosive Blast Loads' in buildings and 'Not Just Men in Skirts: The Significance of women and the Australian HighCourt'.
The National/Trans-Tasman final will be held at the University of Queensland on September 21 2010.
Photo Opportunity: The final of the University of Newcastle Three Minute Thesis Competitions will be held on Wednesday 4 August 2010 at 2.45pm in HB13, Hunter Building.