The second winner of the Communication in Engineering (CCOM 206) Writing Recognition Award is, Elie Bou-Gharios. Thanks to the generosity of the Faculty of Engineering, this award now comes with a monetary prize of $500.
For the Winter 2015 term, the Writing Recognition Committee found that Elie Bou-Gharios’ paper, “Methods of Carbon Nanotube Production”, stood out from the rest.
Here is the abstract of the winning paper:
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) have shown the potential to change the engineering world with their unprecedented strength, stiffness and semiconductive capabilities. However, the production and alignment of masses of high quality nanotubes has proven challenging at an industrial scale. This paper assesses the effectiveness of the three leading methods of CNT production in terms of quality, yield, cost and scalability. Chemical Vapour Deposition was found to produce higher quality CNTs at greater yields and lower costs than Arc-discharge or Laser Ablation. By engaging catalysts at the gas stage of production and utilising well-developed technology, it also has shown the most potential for large-scale implementation.
Read the full paper in eScholarship, a digital repository which stores and showcases the publications and theses of McGill University faculty and students.
If you missed the announcement of the first winner of the award, you can find it here.
In 3-minute thesis competitions, participants explain their research projects (the why, the how, and the implications for the real world) to non-experts in three minutes or less. The speaker of the best presentation wins. Great presenters will:
- speak clearly and unhurriedly;
- vary their pitch;
- incorporate a story, include a metaphor from everyday life, and/or strike an emotional cord in the listener;
- mention unexpected/interesting facts about their topics (e.g., Silver changes the color of your tongue to blue.); and
- provide tangible examples.
The “CHEE 687: Research Skills and Ethics” class watched some 3-minute thesis competitors in action to prepare for their own presentations. My favourite 3-minute thesis talk was from Balarka Banerjee.We also discussed elements of a good PowerPoint presentation, which:
- has minimal content on each slide;
- contains descriptive/specific headings (rather than general and predictable headings like Introduction, Background, Results, Conclusions);
- engages the audience at the beginning of the presentation with news headlines, statistics, or a story;
- includes consistent formatting throughout;
- utilizes a light background with dark text;
- employs graphics to explain phenomena, processes, and/or concepts; and
- includes citations for any images used (when not your own) on the slide itself.
This is the sixth in a series of weekly posts about topics relating to research skills and ethics. I will be taking a temporary hiatus from blogging and will resume writing this series later on in 2016. Happy holidays!
Image from the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats cartoon strip by Adam “Ape Lad” Koford (creative commons license)