We want to inform people about current and future sustainable practices as well as the research that fosters those practices. We'll feature projects here that represent our mandate and that help people understand and appreciate science and technology in new ways.
Mark McArthur is experimenting with state of the art technology generating hydrogen gas, synthesizing electrode nano-materials, and making better sources of energy more feasible...
Mark is a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering and is co-supervised by Professors Sasha Omanovic and Sylvain Coulombe. He is exploring new ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by turning hydrogen gas into a renewable, alternative energy source.
By experimenting with state-of-the-art technology to generate hydrogen gas through electrolysis, Mark is developing and synthesizing novel electrode nano-materials known as electrocatalysts. This type of research will benefit society by refining the process of creating renewable energy at a low cost. Mark received a McGill Engineering Doctoral Award (MEDA) in the form of named fellowships: the William H. Gauvin Fellowship in Chemical Engineering and the Leslie Vadasz Doctoral Fellowship in Engineering.
Mark states, "As we are all well aware, our world is plagued by the use of fossil fuels as a strong source of energy. Unfortunately, the burning of these fuels adds undue stress to the environment, what with the release of harmful greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. As global energy requirements steadily increase, we must ask ourselves if we can find a better source of energy...This technology is really state-of-the-art, and only through the fellowships like the William H. Gauvin Fellowship in Chemical Engineering, and the Leslie Vadasz Doctoral Fellowship in Engineering, could I have the opportunity to develop and work on this kind of cutting edge science...We all wish to improve our society, and with these generous funding options here at McGill, we can fortunately accomplish our ambitious goals." - Mark McArthur.
Simon Makil, SURE participant on wastewater treatement
Makil's poster on "Biosolids Reduction by Ozone and Ammonium Removal in Wastewater Treatment" was featured in the TISED SURE category in 2013. Makil reflects on his experience and interaction with his topic:
"This summer, I was awarded a research internship in the Environmental Engineering Laboratory of McGill University to work on a project entitled “Biosolids Reduction by Ozone and Ammonium Removal in Wastewater Treatment”. At first, I did not have much interest in the subject; I was just thankful to have secured an internship. I embarked on this research to explore what engineering would mean in terms of applications and what I was getting myself into. What I learnt during this internship surprised me. According to Environment Canada, Canadians domestically use 329 litres of water per day. I could not believe this figure and did not understand how that was possible; so I looked further. I found that modern showerheads operate at flow rates of 10-13 litres per minute. Essentially, a 10 minute shower can waste up to 130 litres of water for just one person only! In addition, modern toilets can use up to 6 litres of water with just one flush. In fact, after the U.S., Canada ranks 2nd in terms of countries which generate the most amount of wastewaters in the world. I realized that we are doing something wrong. With an awakened conscious, I developed a newfound interest in my research topic which motivated me throughout the summer. My project dealt with the application of ozone technology to reduce the amount of sludge produced in wastewater treatment facilities, while maintaining ammonium removal by the treatment system. Through hard work, determination and a real passion for what I was doing, I am proud to say that I was not only able to complete the assigned task in my four months of internship, but was deeply sensitized on our water resources and environment while gaining a better perspective on what the engineering field can offer in terms of application." View Simon Makil's SURE poster here.
Richard Church, TISED SURE winner, optimized certain thermodynamic systems contributing to industrial processes for removing valuable Rare Earth Metals (RE) from used industrial magnets...
Church's winning poster, "Sustainable mineral extraction, processing and advanced manufacturing" was part of his work Thermodynamic Optimization of the Cr-B Binary System, in the department of Mining and Materials Engineering under supervisor, In-Ho Jung. Richard explains, "This summer I had the opportunity to be part of a SURE project, the goal of which was to optimize certain thermodynamic systems. These systems would then become part of a larger thermodynamic database that could be used to model an industrial process for removing valuable Rare Earth Metals (RE) from used industrial magnets. Since minable deposits of these extremely valuable metals are few and far between, a process such as the one being modeled here at McGill could be used to help provide a sustainable source of RE’s for future generations. Perhaps the most important thing I was able to take from this summer project was how relevant and practical most of the research that goes on at McGill really is. The work being done by professors and graduate students is not research for the sake of research, but is being done with the goal of addressing key issues that face our society today. I am proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a project and hopefully through projects of like these we may someday be able to meet the needs of the present without hampering the ability of future generations to meet the same needs." View Richard's winning TISED SURE poster here.