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Dr. David Barnard presented Sherwin Khalili Ghomi with the Dr. Archie McNicol Prize for 1st Place in the 3MT competition

Dr. David Barnard presented Sherwin Khalili Ghomi with the Dr. Archie McNicol Prize for 1st Place in the 3MT competition.

Rock-solid performance wows judges at 3MT

International student gave strong presentation on designing buildings to withstand earthquakes

March 22, 2018 — 

A student who saw firsthand the destructive power of earthquakes upon poorly designed buildings in his native Iran gave a rock-solid performance at the Three-Minute Thesis competition last night, wowing judges and touching the hearts of the audience.

“It was devastating to see the pain and the suffering that those people had to go through,” said Shervin Khalili Ghomi, a doctoral student in civil engineering. “When I was given the chance to pursue my graduate education at the University of Manitoba, it was a great opportunity for me to work on a project that aims to achieve safer buildings in regions with high risk of earthquakes, in the hope of reducing their deadly and costly consequences.” 

Ghomi’s thesis is: “Seismic Performance Improvement of GFRP-Reinforced Concrete Frames: A Path to Earthquake-Resistant Buildings,” working with his advisor Dr. Ehab El-Salakawy. He hopes to help build safer and more efficient structures through constantly seeking a better design through state-of-the-art research.

“It was a great opportunity for me to work on a project that aims to achieve safer buildings in regions with high risk of earthquakes, in the hope of reducing their deadly and costly consequences.” – Shervin Khalili Ghomi

With presentations covering disciplines in the sciences, humanities and medicine, Ghomi competed against 12 other masters and doctoral students at the sixth annual University of Manitoba 3MT® finals on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. A panel of judges from the broader Winnipeg community assessed the presenters on comprehension, engagement, and communication style. Ghomi impressed the judges and audience with his passionate and emotional story, explaining in a calm, conversational style how his work aims to prevent suffering around the world.

Kyla Smith, physics and astronomy, captured the University of Manitoba Retirees Association Prize for Second Place ($1,250) at the 3MT® final for her research: Reducing patient stress: A silent MRI machine.” 

Carmine Slipski, from medical microbiology and infectious diseases, won the Third Place Prize ($750) for his research: “Pumping up the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”

It was announced at this event that both the second- and third-place awards were increased by $250 each thanks to an anonymous donor to the Front and Centre campaign in support of graduate students.

The People’s Choice Award went to Jill Bueddefeld, geography, for her research on polar bears and climate change: “The ‘bear’ truth: Our world is changing.”

Paul Samyn, editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, was emcee for the event. He noted: “As host of the 3MT® finals tonight here at the University of Manitoba, I’ve been blown away by the brilliance of these grad students sharing their research in three-minute bursts.”

A list of all the finalists and their research topics can be found here.

Following his win Wednesday night, Ghomi will go on to the Western Regional Three Minute Thesis competition on April 27 at the University of Regina.

Three Minute Thesis 3MT® is an annual competition where challengers have three minutes to explain their research and its importance or relevance, using only a single static image or slide to illustrate their topic. At the University of Manitoba, 3MT® is part of an overall strategy to highlight our graduate students, promote research at the University of Manitoba, and connect with the community. 

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