This fall, we launched a student development series called SEDTalks! Graduate students working in sustainability learned to communicate sustainability science and engineering, develop professional skills in public-speaking and communication, expand academic and industrial networks, and work with researchers to further advance sustainable engineering and design. In 2016, these "SEDTalks! ChangeMakers" benefitted from coaching and preparing to make a presentation of their great work in sustainable engineering and design on November 23, 2016! Invited event guests included donors who have supported SEDTalks!, industry partners, faculty members, and others. As part of the event, we also hosted a networking cocktail, giving these ChangeMakers a chance to further their connections with TISED's academic and industrial partners.

Check out the presentations and slides below that were made by TISED's 2016 SEDTalks! ChangeMakers

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).

Presentation Slides 

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


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).



Presentation Slides

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


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).

Presentation Slides

SEDTalks! 2016

 Zhen giving his presentation on bioinspired materials! Photo by Owen Egan

Saloumeh giving her presentation on electrode materials! Photo by Owen Egan

Sarayu giving her presentation on nanomaterials! Photo by Owen Egan

An engaged SEDTalks! crowd! Photo by Owen Egan

Dean Jim Nicell welcoming SEDTalks! audience members and speaking of the Faculty of Engineering's history and future in sustainability! Photo by Owen Egan

TISED Associate Director, Jeff Bergthorson, welcoming guests to the first SEDTalks! event and describing the vision for this development program! Photo by Owen Egan