Introducing CMEGSA 2017-2018

From left: Vishal Subramanian, Anika Benozir Asha, Sushmitha Thirumalaivasan, Carol Dwaik, Ananthan Santhanakrishnan, Caitlin Guzzo, Tai Nguyen.

The 2017 – 2018 term has well begun, and with that comes new responsibility for some students. This year, The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering is proud to announce to you the newly elected committee of the Chemical and Materials Engineering Graduate Student Association.

Ananthan Santhanakrishnan (President) 

"I am currently pursuing a Masters in Chemical engineering with my research focused on the upgrading of fossil fuels and advanced characterization of the same under the guidance of Dr. Rajender Gupta. 

Throughout my education, I have not only been exposed to a high-quality education, but also have given platforms to develop and showcase my leadership and management skills. Knowledge, experience and, exposure are the things I wish to gain with each opportunity provided to me. It’s my pleasure to be a part of the CMEGSA team for the academic year. I believe Alone; we can do little; together we can do so much. I look forward to working together with all the members to strengthen the relationship between the Department and the graduate students. We are here to listen to your interests and concerns and to make your life at the UofA a better one." 

Sushmitha Thirumalaivasan (VP Academic) "I am a graduate student in Chemical and Materials Engineering, working on Optimization of Mixed-culture algal Biorefinery under the supervision of Dr.Vinay Prasad. I am an international student from India and have been in Edmonton since fall of 2016. I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Anna University, India, where I served as the Secretary of IIChE (Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers). I have constant motivation for improving my analytical, technical and, communication skills. My current and past volunteering positions exhibit excellent organizational and managerial skills. Being a part of CMEGSA as the VP Academic, I look forward to organizing more academic oriented events. I am looking forward to working with other CMEGSA executives as a welcome team member." 

Vishal Subramanian (VP Alumni & External Affairs) "I joined the University of Alberta as a Master's student in Fall '16. The deep passion for working on, and developing technology to combat climate change motivated me to travel more than 7500 miles away from home to Alberta. I work under the guidance of Dr. Arvind Rajendran on the adsorption based CO2 capture. I am currently developing a simplified mathematical model for fast and efficient screening of adsorbents used in the post-combustion capture of CO2. I did my Bachelors in Technology in Chemical Engineering from NIT Trichy, India. I was responsible for organizing events, workshops , and guest lectures during my tenure as Technical Head of Chemical Engineering Association (ChEA ’16), NIT Trichy. I am glad to be part of the CMEGSA Executive committee, and greatly looking forward to working as your VP Alumni and External Affairs. 

Anika Benozir Asha (VP Student Service) "I am a Ph.D. Student in Materials Engineering in Dr. Narain’s research group. My research project focuses on dopamine-based polymer synthesis and its surface modification. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, where I then worked as a research assistant. At that time, I participated in organizing several seminars and cultural programs. Out of my interest in volunteer activities, I have looked forward to joining CMEGSA since being enrolled in University of Alberta in September 2016. Finally, I got the opportunity to serve as VP Student Service and work with the new team." 

Caitlin Guzzo (VP Communications) "I'm currently pursuing my M.Sc. in Materials Engineering, under the supervision of Dr. John Nychka, focusing on the production and functionalization of bioactive glasses for use as resorbable bone implants. I recently completed my B.Sc. in Nano and Functional Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta, during which I had the opportunity to work as a research student at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Germany and the University of Leeds, UK. These projects focused on biomedical applications of nanotechnology, preparing me for my current role as a master's student. In recent years, I have held several leadership positions, including Chair of the City of Edmonton Youth Council, VP Finance of the Engineering Students' Society, and VP Academic of the Materials Engineering Students' Society. I'm excited to serve as VP Communications for CMEGSA this year." 

Carol Dwaik (VP Finance) "I began my MSc in Chemical Engineering program in September 2016 with a focus on oil sands extraction under the supervision of Dr. Zhenghe Xu and Dr. Qingxia Liu. My research scope is electrocoalescence and phase separation time by incorporating the use of electric fields, improving overall extraction efficiency and, reducing heat and solvent usage. Recently, I have presented my preliminary research in a joint industry project conference in Scotland, and I completed my BSc in Chemistry with a Mathematical Sciences minor from the UofA in June 2016. I’ve worked on multiple research projects, including controlled multi-drug delivery polymer systems using NIPAm microgels and alginate hydrogels, custom optical epoxy development with Stream Technologies and, a crude oil project with Saudi Aramco. I have a diverse background in volunteer experience, including DiscoverE, Science Mentors, WISEST, and my role as VP Administration in the Chemical Students’ Association. This year, I will be a Teaching Fellow at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College where I will teach interdisciplinary courses. I am excited to be a part of the CMEGSA this year!" 

Tai Nguyen (VP Events) "I have started my Ph.D. program in the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering since Fall 2016. Currently, my research focuses on Carbon capture and storage (CCS), capture technique in particular, under the supervision of Dr. Arvind Rajendran. I earned my master's degree in Sofia, Bulgaria where I had an opportunity to meet international students from all over the world to enhance my intercultural skills. I was a member of Erasmus Mundus Organization in UCTM Sofia, which connects international students, and builds the friendship with them by participating excursions and parties. Moreover, I was happy to join the summer project 2016 for exchanging cultures in Tryavna, Bulgaria with the presence of students from Netherlands, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia and, Yemen where I gained my cultural diversity knowledge. As an international student, I understand difficulties and necessities while being in a new environment. Throughout events from CMEGSA, I would expect to build an active atmosphere and a friendly environment to welcome all CMEGSA students."