Political whiz wins UC's 3MT final
30 July 2014: A passionate explanation of the changing face of political participation worldwide has earned University of Canberra PhD student Max Halupka first prize at the University's 2014 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final competition.
The Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis PhD student won $2,000 towards research expenses for his efforts in presenting his research topic 'The evolution of political participation'.
Mr Halupka and six other students had three minutes to explain the significance of their research to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.
Max Halupka, winner of UC's 3MT competition with DVC-E Nick Klomp. Photo: Michelle McAulay
The 26-year-old, whose parents flew in from Adelaide to cheer him on, said he was delighted, but at the same time surprised to win the competition.
"I was quite shocked [to win]," Mr Halupka said. "It didn't sink in until later that night, but I'm very excited."
"I think it would be trickier to go to the national competition against other winners, mainly because political theory, which is the topic of my thesis, is not as sexy as other science topics.
"But I hope I've managed to capture my work in an accessible way that shows the 'cool' side of politics," Mr Halupka said.
Faculty of Health PhD student Courtney McGowan won $1,000 as the runner-up for her presentation on why 'hot swimmers are fast swimmers'.
The people's choice award of $500 was Thosaphon Chieocharnpraphan from the Faculty of Business, Government and Law. Mr Chieocharnpraphan, who also won the people's choice award in last year's competition, spoke about the strategic partnership between Australia and Thailand in the Asia-Pacific region.
The four-member adjudication panel judging the competition final included University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor (education) Professor Nick Klomp (chair), Centenary Professor Moosung Lee, ABC 666 online and field reporter Louise Maher and last year's University of Canberra 3MT winner, PhD student Adrian Dusting.
Mr Halupka will now go on to represent the University of Canberra at the 2014 Trans-Tasman final, which will be hosted by the University of Western Australia on 3 November, 2014.