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Graduate student wins Saint Mary's Three Minute Thesis competition

15 April, 2016

Dijana Anelj
Dijana Anželj

Saint Mary’s graduate student Dijana Anželj is this year’s winner of the Saint Mary's Three Minute Thesis Competition. Anželj took home the title for here research into nuclear reactor corrosion in power plants.

“I am very passionate about physical chemistry and quantum mechanics/quantum physics,” she said. “In order to minimize the corrosion associated with the new design, it is essential to predict all of the possible corrosion products that may form within the nuclear reactor. I am computationally predicting the lead (II) complexes that could form as possible corrosion products, so that the corrosion can be controlled.”

Anželj’s research could be used to deliver improved safety and better stability in these nuclear reactors. This could be extremely important in the future as increased electricity production is needed which in turn could lead to more nuclear power plants.

Anželj entered the Three Minute Thesis Competition to get more practice in public speaking and to battle stage fright. She also says it was a way to show herself and others the great understanding she had around her complex research.

Through the competition she not only improved her public speaking but learned ways to improve showcasing her research.

“I have learned that, when presenting your research topic, it is very important to do so in such a way that it will spark audience interest and stop them from shaking their watches or even falling asleep,” she said.

The competition also taught her the importance of delivering your message as clearly and concisely as possible and to leave your audience with the key points. The public speaking improvements and lessons learned have led Anželj to recommend the competition to anyone in the future. 

“This experience was exciting and rewarding for me,” she said. “It is great way to practice how to deliver a clear story of your research and improve your communication skills.”

Anželj will now represent Saint Mary’s at the Three Minute Thesis Competition Regionals in St. John’s next month.