Meet our SEDTalks! ChangeMakers

Sara Imbriglio


PhD Candidate, Mining and Materials Engineering
Supervisor: Richard R. Chromik
Theme: Sustainable Industrial Processes and Manufacturing


Clean manufacturing: cold spraying high performance surfaces

From improving the performance of surfaces to expanding the use of ceramics in advanced technologies; metal/ceramic interfaces are the answer. Unfortunately, joining metals and ceramics typically involves expensive reaction joining techniques. Cold spray is a clean additive process with promising potential for production of protective metal/ceramic coatings and ceramic metallization. Sara’s research investigates the key factors involved in adhesion of these cold sprayed interfaces. The applications are endless, ranging from aerospace and automotive, to biomedical and electrical industries.


Shuaishuai Yuan


PhD candidate, Mining and Materials Engineering
Supervisor: Kirk H. Bevan
Theme: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency


Designing energy materials from the atomic scale: the role of polarons

Advanced materials are essential to delivering high-performance clean energy technologies. In many energy materials, such as Li-Air batteries, low conductivity is caused by the formation of polarons and this limits battery performance. Shuaishuai’s research explores the initial stages of polaron formation in the operation of Li-Air batteries down to the atomic scale using state-of-the-art simulation methods.  Atomic-scale engineering studies of polaron formation are a necessary step to improve the electronic or optoelectronic properties of different energy materials and their entry into the energy marketplace.


Keena Trowell


PhD candidate, Mechanical Engineering 
Supervisor: Jeffrey Bergthorson & David Frost
​Theme: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency


Replacing fossil fuels: metal-water reactions for clean power

In the fight against climate change, new fuels are needed to replace fossil fuels. Metals store energy during the refining process and are a novel way of transporting and stockpiling renewable energy. Keena’s research is focused on releasing that stored energy, in the form of heat and hydrogen, by reacting the metal with water. The result is instant access to clean power with no release of greenhouse gasses.


Cleaning Water with Electricity: The Importance of Electrode Materials for Depollution and Disinfection

Saloumeh Ghasemian

Chemical Engineering
Supervisor: TISED Member, Sasha Omanovic

Conventional wastewater treatment methods are sometimes ineffective or insufficient for the removal of bio-refractory contaminants…Is there a stronger method? Saloumeh’s research explores the development of mixed metal-oxide electrode coatings for electrochemistry-based water/wastewater treatment. With the help of light and electricity, these electrodes activate ‘clean’ electrons to break apart persistent chemicals and biological substances, providing depollution and disinfection. This technology could contribute to improved water quality and, hence, human well-being. saloumeh.ghasemian [at] (Email Saloumeh)

The Fate of Nanomaterials in the Environment: Finding the Missing Link for a Sustainable Nano-Future

Sarayu Rao

Civil Engineering
Supervisor: TISED Member, Subhasis Ghoshal

How many of us go through our day without using toothpaste, creams, or other personal-care products? Due to their superior qualities, nanomaterials have increasingly been incorporated into these products, inevitably leading to their release into the environment. Sarayu's research focuses on understanding how these tiny particles transform in an aquatic environment, an exercise that is paramount in comprehending the behaviour and fate of nanomaterials, which will ultimately determine outcomes on human and ecosystem health. sarayu.rao [at] (Email Sarayu)

Using Nature and Architecture to Create Superior Materials: Turning Waste into Treasure

Zhen Yin

Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor: TISED Member, François Barthelat

People work better in a team that cooperates; and so do materials! When they are properly designed, weak elements can be united to create high performance structural materials with superior properties. Zhen’s research amplifies material properties, combining some that are traditionally mutually exclusive, thereby "'expanding the material space". He applies concepts from two fields: Architecture and Biomimicry. The materials Zhen uses can be built from relatively weak, yet sustainable sources, such as recycled polymers or minerals. The result? Stronger, lighter, tougher materials to build our world! zhen.yin [at] (Email Zhen)


"I truly enjoyed my experience. I acquired skills in putting together presentations, presenting in front of an audience (either the general public or science-based crowds), getting my message across without jargon, and speaking without relying on notes. SEDTalks! provided a great platform for me to step into the world of public speaking. After SEDTalks!, I am REALLY confident about doing impromptu presentations. This definitely can be very impressive to potential employers. SEDTalks! is also a great way to showcase my research by directing people to the YouTube link of my presentation during the SEDTalks! event. I have actually had strangers email and contact me to ask me about my research after they viewed my presentation on YouTube! I think that is pretty cool!" - ChangeMaker


"What I liked about SEDTalks! the most is that it provides training sessions over a 2 month period on both presentation and networking skills. Since my participation in the SEDTalks! program, my presentation skills have been improved significantly. SEDTalks! provided me with opportunities to share ideas with people from different fields, which then led to collaboration opportunities. And the presentation skills training I received now helps me to attract a larger audience at conferences." - ChangeMaker



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