Meet our 3MT Finalists: Sharon Lau

January 19, 2021 - by Sarah Igram

Sharon Lau is a second-year student in Industrial Engineering. Her presentation is titled "Towards zero variability." Learn more about Sharon below.


Q: What brought you to Iowa State?

Picture of Sharon Lau


A: A professor during my undergraduate degree mentioned that I should apply to Iowa State.


Q: Describe your research in three sentences or less.

A: My research focuses on reducing measurement error associated with nondestructive testing (NDT) in the metal casting field. Magnetic particle inspection, or MPI, is an NDT method that is able to detect defects at or near the metal casting’s surface. The goal is to identify and quantify the influence of factors on the reliability of MPI and subsequently create innovative solutions to raise the capabilities of MPI to be able to improve the performance of metal castings.


Q: What do you hope to gain from Three Minute Thesis?

A: I hope to improve my communication skills. Three Minute Thesis changes the way I think about presenting research. As graduate students, we are accustomed to presenting our research to researchers in our field. Presenting research to a non-specialist audience is something we do not do very often but extremely beneficial.


Q: Share a fun fact about yourself.

A: I represented my country, Malaysia, in the sport of golf from 2007 to 2009.


Founded at the University of Queensland, Three Minute Thesis (3MT) challenges graduate students to present their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. This year, Iowa State's 3MT competition is entirely virtual. Get to know our seven outstanding finalists before we announce the winner, runner-up, and People's Choice Award recipient on January 25. Watch the full competition and vote for the People's Choice Award recipient.

Tags: three minute thesis, engineering, industrial engineering