Grad Student Wins Top Prize in National 3MT Contest

Posted on Friday, June 9th, 2017

OAC master’s student Shanthanu Krishnakumarhas become the first competitor in the national 3-Minute Thesis contest to win both the annual competition’s top prize and its People’s Choice Award.

The competition, now in its fifth year, requires students to explain their work and its relevance within three minutes using only one slide.

Krishnakumar discussed how to lengthen the shelf life of fruit using hexanal — a natural plant-derived compound — sprayed on nectarines. He explained the process and its potential benefits for food security, particularly in developing countries.

“He was able to connect with his audience about why they should care and how his research will affect the lives of farmers and consumers around the world,” said contest judge Rob Baker, guitarist with the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. “Experiencing his enthusiasm encouraged the audience to follow him through the science.”

Krishnakumar said that when he learned of his wins, “I almost couldn’t believe it; I called my family in India and my thesis supervisors to tell the news.

“I had just entered the contest thinking it would be nice to win my college competition and make it to the U of G finals. I didn’t expect to win there and go to the provincial event, let alone make it to nationals.”

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