International success for Nottingham engineering student

Monday, 29 January 2024

A University of Nottingham PhD student has beaten global competition to be named the People’s Choice winner at the Universitas21 Global Three Minute Thesis (U21 3MT®) competition.

The competition brings doctoral students from around the world together to present a three-minute version of their thesis online – getting straight to the heart of their research and communicating clearly to an international audience.

Diret Bitrus Tang’an’s presentation Hope for The Environment: Microwave Heating explained how microwave heating can be used to help clean petroleum contamination from the Niger delta.

I am highly honoured to be the global People’s Choice winner of the 2023 U21 3MT® competition. Many thanks to U21 for the challenging opportunity to further develop my art of pitching complex research concisely and engagingly.
Diret Bitrus Tang’an

Diret continued: “Special thanks to the teams at the University of Nottingham, my sponsor (PTDF), my family, and my friends for their support throughout this journey. Above all, thanks to God for His wisdom. I hope that my research will contribute immensely to the greater cause of saving our environment."

Researchers from 19 world-leading universities took part in the competition, with two other winners selected alongside Diret by a panel of experts from across the U21 network. The winners were praised for their exceptional ability to communicate complex ideas with clarity, passion, and relevance.

Professor Jenny Dixon, Provost of Universitas 21, said: "The calibre and breadth of research presented this year was truly exceptional. The U21 3MT® competition underscores the importance of effective communication in research and provides a platform for young scholars to gain recognition and experience in an international research setting.”

Diret is committed to solving real world problems that are affecting so many people living in Nigeria, and for his research to be recognised on an international scale is a credit to its relevance, importance, and ingenuity. Congratulations Diret, this win is thoroughly well-deserved, and we look forward to seeing where your research takes you moving forwards.
Professor Chris Tuck, Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Engineering

To watch Diret’s winning presentation, click here. To find out more about the other winners, click here.

Story credits

More information is available from Danielle Hall, Media Relations Manager at the University of Nottingham, at or 0115 846 7156.

Danielle Hall - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Engineering
Phone: 0115 846 7156

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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