2018 UBC 3MT Final Results

On March 15 at 12:30 PM at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, eight talented UBC graduate students presented their research in three minutes each, competing for the top prize in this year’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. After long and thoughtful deliberation, our panel of guest judges declared the winners:

First Place: Andrew Robertson, PhD In Physics, Enabling Targeted Alpha Therapy for Treatment of Advanced Cancers, Drs. Paul Schaffer and Vesna Sossi

Runner Up: Rajat Jain, MASc in Civil Engineering, Providing high quality potable water to Indigenous communities in Canada, Prof. Pierre Bérubé

Honourable Mention: Anna Smith, MSc in Forestry, The smell of fear: The influence of heavy metals on juvenile coho olfaction and behavior, Dr. Scott Hinch

People’s Choice: Andrew Robertson, PhD In Physics, Enabling Targeted Alpha Therapy for Treatment of Advanced Cancers, Drs. Paul Schaffer and Vesna Sossi

Andrew will go on to represent UBC at the 2017 Western Regional 3MT Competition on April 27 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Our top finalists will also present at a number of events around the region over the next few months.

Our remaining finalists were (in alphabetical order):

  • Andrea Johnson, PhD in Social Work, Cancer as Interruption: Adolescents’ posttreatment experiences, Dr. Grant Charles
  • Christopher Mann, MSc in Astronomy & Astrophysics,  Searching for a Middle Sized Black Hole, Dr. Harvey Richer
  • Haley Williams, MSc in Geography, When the Glaciers are Gone: Lessons Learned from Taan Fjord, Dr. Michele Koppes
  • Khalid Saad El Din, MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Increasing Rates of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer, Dr. Mary De Vera
  • Pranav Shrestha, MASc in Mechanical Engineering, Injecting into skin through microneedles, Dr. Boris Stoeber

2018 3MT winner Andrew Robertson giving his 3-minute presentation.

Thank you to our participants, judges, hosts and organizers

3MT depends on volunteer organizers, hosts, judges, presenters, and volunteers from many UBC faculties, departments and units. This year, over 60 students took part in preliminary 3MT heats organized by various faculties and departments. Twenty-two graduate students progressed to the semi-final competitions, and eight moved on to the finals. Thank you to everyone who presented, judged, organized or volunteered at a 3MT event. 3MT would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of so many volunteers.

The judging panel at our final event has the hardest job of all. The 2018 final judging panel was:

  • Miriam Grant, PhD, Vice-Provost & Dean, Graduate & Post-Doctoral Studies, UBC Okanagan
  • Kristina McBurney, PhD, Program Manager, STEMCELL Technologies
  • Sara Muir-Owen, MCIP, RPP, MLArch, UBC Program Manager, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
  • Michele Murphy, MA, Alumni Career Educator, alumni UBC

Our final was hosted by Jennifer Gardy, a UBC alumna, professor, scientist, and well-known science communicator.

Thank you to our sponsors

This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

Platinum sponsors:

Stemcell Technologies

Gold sponsors:



Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions


Bronze sponsors:


If you are interested in supporting our 2019 3MT events, please contact Jacqui Brinkman at Jacqui.brinkman@ubc.ca to discuss the options.