Physics PhD student, Matthew Gerges, wins the UNSW Research Showcase (otherwise known as the 1-Minute Thesis Competition)

As part of his PhD at UNSW in the School of Physics, Matthew Gerges has undertaken research examining alternative power sources for the PLATO-A (PLATeau Observatory dome A) located on the highest point of the Antarctica plateau. 

The purpose of the PLATeau Observatory Dome is to enable year-round experiments and astronomical observations to take place.  However, Gerges explains that “since 2008, a set of diesel engines have been running on aviation kerosene to power the observatory.”  He believes “that the introduction of wind power would provide a sustainable alternative power source and would reduce maintenance costs, pollution, fuel transport costs, and energy wastage.”

Gerges’s 1-Minutes Thesis presented the idea of an "Antarctic Wind Turbine" to the graduate research community of the university and was judged to be outstanding. Gerges is the winner of the Best Entrant for the School of Physics.

The 2021 Research Showcase Competition is open to science students undertaking either a Master or a PhD at UNSW and winners of the competition are put forth in the UNSW Three-Minute Thesis Competition. Research Showcase Competitors are judged on communication style, clarity of topic and audience engagement.