FAS Three Minute Thesis

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges graduate students to present their thesis and its significance in just three minutes and one slide. The competition cultivates students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills, and celebrates exciting graduate research taking place at Simon Fraser University. Students in thesis and non-thesis based graduate programs in computing science, engineering science, mechatronics and sustainable energy engineering are invited to participate in the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) heat for a chance to win cash prizes and advance to the SFU Final.

In 2021, the FAS heat will be held asynchronously, where student presentation videos will be posted on this webpage for online judging.

First Place - $600*
Runner Up - $200*
People's Choice Award - $200

*The top two winners determined by the judge's scoring will advance to the SFU Final to compete for $1000 and the chance to represent SFU at the Western Regional and National Competitions.

Learn more at SFU's 3MT website.

Results from SFU 3MT Finals announced on April 15, 2021:

Congratulations to Nicholaus Zilinski, who won third place in SFU's Three Minute Thesis Finals!

View participants' presentations from the 2021 SFU 3MT Finals here.

Results from FAS 3MT Faculty Heat announced on March 23, 2021:

The 2021 FAS Three Minute Thesis Faculty Heat has concluded. Congratulations to our First Place winner, Laura Whelan and our Runner Up & People’s Choice winner, Nicholaus Zilinski. Both Laura and Nicholaus will be moving on to the SFU Finals which will be taking place on Thursday, April 15th at 2:30 p.m. PT for the chance to represent SFU at the Western Regional Competition. Read the news story.

Vote for People's Choice Award

Friends, colleagues and the wider community are welcome to vote for their favourite presentation. Please view all the videos below, and then vote for the video that you believe demonstrated the best presentation skills. The video that receives the most votes through the survey link below will receive the People's Choice Award. Please only submit one vote.

Click to view the criteria that judges will use for scoring. We encourage you to use these questions to guide you as you vote for the People's Choice Award:

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?


  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

2021 Competition Student Presentations

Ohoud Alharbi - Computing Science PhD Student

The Effects of Predictive Features of Mobile Keyboards on Text Entry Speed and Errors

Sarah Garner - Sustainable Energy Engineering MASc Student

Fuel Cells: Linking Membrane Durability to Longevity

Pawel Kudzia - Engineering Science PhD Student

Characterizing the Control of External Force Vectors

First Place Winner

Laura Whelan - Sustainable Energy Engineering MASc Student

Thermal Energy Storage for Residential Application

Daina Baker - Sustainable Energy Engineering MASc Student

Sustainable 3D Printed Electronics with Sheath Conductors

Kimia Haghighi - Sustainable Energy Engineering MASc Student

A Bridge to Zero Emission Vehicles: Fuel of the Future!

Sathish Panchapakesan - Engineering Science MASc Student

Implementation of Neural Networks on FPGA

Runner Up and People's Choice Winner

Nicholaus Zilinski - Engineering Science MASc Student

Mind Reading with Laser Beams


Noah Adams (BSc ’08, Computing Science)

Software Engineer, Salesforce

Adams expertise lies in software products for mobile web, mobile native apps, and data and analytics. Prior to joining Salesforce, he was part of the Mobify team where he worked under his SFU classmates and Mobify co-founders, Igor Faletski and John Boxall. At Mobify, Adams helped grow the company’s frontend platform to a level that resulted in Mobify being acquired by Salesforce in 2020. He continues to stay involved and have significant impact on the SFU community where he was the past president of the Computing Science Student Society and more recently, a key member in planning and judging the SFU-Mobify coding contest in January 2020. As a team lead and Senior Manager of Software Engineering at Salesforce, Adams values humility, boldness and growth. He strives to ensure that his peers develop skills to grow as much as they can in their careers.

Dr. Ouldooz Baghban Karimi (PhD '13, Computing Science)

Lecturer, SFU School of Computing Science

Dr. Baghban Karimi specializes in data and networks. Earlier in her career, Dr. Baghban Karimi joined Cyan (Ciena) as a software engineer, building network products and customer-facing solution integration for international telecommunication providers in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Her current research interests include virtualization at the edge, network anomalies and user privacy in network measurements. Additionally, she is passionate about computing science education and societal problems, including fair access and underrepresentation.

Dr. Manpreet Kaur (PhD ’19, Mechatronic Systems Engineering)

Lecturer, SFU School of Sustainable Energy Engineering

2019 SFU 3MT Finalist

Dr. Kaur completed her PhD degree from SFU in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering with a research focus on architected materials fabricated by 3D printing techniques for the case study of soft robotic bodies. She has authored several peer-review journal articles. Her research has been featured in Engineers and Geoscientist BC, SFU News and in the journal of Advanced Material Technologies and Advanced Intelligent Systems. Dr. Kaur volunteers in various student-based programs and is passionate about inspiring young minds from all backgrounds through mentorship.

Biljana Pecelj (BASc ’06, Engineering Science)

Senior Product Manager, Hootsuite

Pecelj is passionate about digging into customer problems. She spent the past fifteen years working in various size companies ranging from start-ups to enterprises. For the past decade, Pecelj is focused on product management as it contains a good mix of people, problem solving and technology. At Hootsuite, she enjoys working with an incredibly bright group of people on solving problems in the fast-changing world of social-network application programing interfaces.

Dr. Pete Thimmaiah (PhD '18, Mechatronic Systems Engineering)

Program Manager, Fraser Basin Council

Dr. Thimmaiah is a Program Manager for the Fraser Basin Council’s (FBC) Climate Change and Air Quality Program, supporting zero-emission fleets initiatives for Plug In BC. Prior to joining FBC, Dr. Thimmaiah worked with the automotive company, Robert Bosch in Germany as a senior mechanical engineer. He has several scientific publications related to clean energy technologies and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post Canada and Policy Options magazine.