Erin Blasko | July 29, 2019
Monica Arul Jayachandran, a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, won first place and the People’s Choice award, along with $2,500 in prize money, at the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition July 22 in Washington, D.C.
Developed by the University of Queensland in Australia, 3MT is an academic competition that challenges graduate students to explain their research in a language appropriate to both specialists and non-specialists with just one static slide in three minutes or less.
Monica’s presentation — “Occupant Comfort in High-Rise Buildings” — employed humor and personal anecdotes to show the need for established movement guidelines for occupant comfort in tall buildings, which can sway unpleasantly in high winds.
She competed for the awards along with 12 other ACC students.
“3MT has been a life-changing experience for me,” said Monica, who goes by only her first name. “The chance to explain my research to a non-specialist audience while being engaging was a great learning experience. It takes skill and practice to articulate one’s research work in three minutes, and it is a skill that every graduate student should hone. I strongly recommend 3MT to all of our graduate students as ‘our research matters’!”
A doctoral student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Monica specializes in the field of structural wind engineering.
Her research lab, the NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, worked with collaborators including Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Samsung Corp. to monitor tall buildings in Chicago as well as overseas, including Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in the United Arab Emirates.
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