MiWATCH's Loren Nicholls takes to the stage in 3MT Final

Eight finalists representing The University of Queensland's Faculties and Institutes participated in the UQ 3MT Finals at the iconic Customs House in Brisbane on 14 September 2022.

Their challenge – to convince the judges and the audience why their PhD is important and is going to change the world. Not a seemingly difficult task until you introduce a time limit of three minutes and one power point slide as the only prop!

Loren during her 3MT Final presentation

Loren Nicholls, a PhD candidate in the MIWATCH group, progressed through the 3MT heats at SMI and all-Institute level to secure her spot at the Finals.

In her pitch, Loren highlighted the large volume of mine waste that is generated to support our civilisation. Giving an example, she noted how making a tiny 3.5g gold ring generates about a ton of mine waste.

To combat this, Loren's research is about “turning trash into treasure” by exploring repurposing pathways for recovery of cobalt, a critical metal from copper mine waste, using geometallurgical characterisation and improved processing techniques.

This could position Australia as one of the leaders in sustainable critical metal production and also underpin a circular economy through economic rehabilitation and reuse of mine waste.

The Loren Nicholls support team!

Loren's pitch was one of finest of the night garnering a large round of applause from the audience and much appreciation from the judging panel.

A great number of colleagues from SMI attended to support Loren - she did an amazing job and we send our huge congratulations to her.


Last updated:
23 September 2022