image of Elena Corella Puertas with a small triangle of a storm over water, Bruno  Castilho small triangle of a airplane engine, Rana  Yekani with a small triangle of a  solar panels



TISED will be hosting 2020 SEDTALKS! between 6:00PM- 8:00PM (EST) ONLINE! 

An initiative of the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED), SEDTalks! is an educational and skill-building series for graduate students in the Faculty of Engineering whose research advances sustainability in the areas of engineering and design. The SEDTalks! Event features TEDTalk-style presentations from three graduate students, our ChangeMakers, and followed by a live Q&A.

Watch SEDTALKS 2020 Now

The 2020 ChangeMakers:

image of elena corella puertas   image of Bruno  Castilho             image of Rana Yekani


Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. candidate 

Sylvain Coulombe &  Viviane Yargeau, Supervisors

Sustainable Industrial Processes and Manufacturing


Mining and Materials Engineering, Ph.D. Candidate 

Richard R. Chromik &  Christian Moreau, Supervisors

Sustainable Industrial Processes and Manufacturing


Mining and Materials Engineering, Ph.D. Candidate 

George P. Demopoulos, Supervisor

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

From lightning to clean water: Removal of challenging pharmaceutical pollutants through plasma-based technologies

Conventional water treatment plants are not able to remove various types of water contaminants. Persistent water contaminants — such as some pharmaceuticals, personal care products or pesticides — have been found in various rivers, groundwater and drinking water, and some can negatively affect the health of humans, animals and ecosystems. In order to remove these pollutants, new technologies are sought. Elena’s research explores new plasma-based water treatment technologies, through the development of a pin-to-liquid discharge reactor. Her work focuses on degrading a challenging pharmaceutical pollutant, diatrizoate. The ultimate goal of her research is to identify novel technologies for treating hospital wastewaters.


Reducing energy and material waste in harsh environments: How to make our flights more sustainable

The design of turbines for aerospace applications is one of the biggest challenges in engineering due to high working temperatures and pressures. Consequently, there is a limited number of materials that can be used inside a turbine, especially when the objective is to reduce friction and wear. In order to address this challenge, the use of coatings is commonly reported in the literature. However, it is difficult to find a single coating material capable of withstanding the harsh environment experienced inside a turbine. Bruno’s research focuses on understanding and developing multiple component coatings to provide reduced friction and wear in high-temperature applications. The overarching goal of his work is to reduce energy and material loss, maintenance costs as well as to increase the lifetime of turbine parts.


Stable Perovskite Solar Cells; Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Solar Technology

Solar cells promise the ability to harness free and abundant energy from the Sun, suggesting an easy win for sustainable energy over today’s incumbent fossil fuel technology. Yet, high-quality silicon cells - considered the current state of the art solar technology - have a high ecological impact due to their high cost and energy-intensive manufacturing processes. Perovskite solar cells, with their superior tolerance to structural defects, offer a viable path toward reducing the ecological impact of this renewable energy technology. The inherent robustness of the Perovskite cell enables the use of established, low-cost manufacturing techniques which in turn, improve the capital efficiency of solar production facility investments.

Despite promising attributes of the technology, long term cell stability remains a major obstacle to true production-scale deployment. Rana’s research focuses on the relationship between cell architecture, fabrication methods and cell performance. The ultimate goal of her work is to optimize the perovskite cell design with respect to cost, stability and environmental impact.






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