Thursday February 13th was the first meeting of the Collaboratory on Energy Research and Policy (CERP) at the University of Ottawa which is an interdisciplinary organization made up of graduate students. I am proud to be part of the first inaugural membership of CERP. Our mandate is as follows:
Build bridges between research and energy policy stakeholders to create a community of practice to undertake, mobilize, and leverage evidence-based policy-relevant research.
Connect scholars and students researching energy issues across the university to build interdisciplinary research capacity.
Foster energy literacy within and beyond the University of Ottawa.
My role within CERP is on the science side of energy research and policy as a science ambassador. Our first meeting dealt with the topic of solar energy and the policy as well as the economic issues that arise form this renewable source of energy.
My last paper from the Gauld Group at the University of Windsor was just published on the Journal of Physical Chemistry B.
“A Molecular Dynamics Examination on Mutation Induced Catalase Activity in Coral Allene Oxide Synthase” was the product of my undergraduate thesis which was supervised by Dr. James Gauld and mentored by Dr. Eric Bushnell. Focusing on an intriguing enzyme called Coral Allene Oxide Synthase, I performed molecular dynamics simulations in order to examine the effects of mutating key catalytic residues.
This marks my last full paper from the Gauld group for which I am extremely proud and grateful to have been a part of. I would like to thank Dr. James Gauld and Dr. Eric Bushnell for all their support.
Today I was awarded the Tito Scaiano Scholarship Fund. This award was established by Professor Tito Scaiano and is an internal award within the Department of Chemistry. Tito Scaiano holds the Canada Research Chair in Applied Photochemistry and is a Distinguished Professor here at the University of Otawa.
I wanted to thank my references Dr. James Gauld and Dr. Rob Schurko. Dr. Gauld was my supervisor during my time at University of Windsor in my Undergrad and he is the one who introduced me to computational chemistry in the first place. Dr. Schurko was my 410 thesis class supervisor as well as an instructor for my various courses and was an excellent organizer of the class.
Lastly, I have to thank Dr. Paul Mayer, the head of the chemistry department and Dr. Tom Woo my supervisor for their continued support.
The people mentioned on this page deserve more than a few typed words gesturing my thanks. They have been invaluable in my development as a student, a scientist, and a person. Without them this thesis project would not have been possible and I am truly grateful and humbled by their presence in my life.
First and foremost I would like to thank Dr. James W. Gauld for giving me the opportunity to research. It was his support and confidence in me that spurred my passion to excel despite my subpar undergraduate academic performance. It is his belief that a persons’ scientific ability is more than just their GPA, and because of this I have found, with certainty, what I want to do for the rest of my life as a career.
I wish to extend my gratitude to the Gauld group. To Dan and Erum for accompanying me on this journey. To Hisham for his ability to keep people on track when it gets too rowdy. To Bogdan for his expanded vocabulary and organizational skills. To Rami for his supreme knowledge of undergraduate textbooks. To Grant for his manliness and humour. And to Eric who has been my direct mentor and guide through the world of computational chemistry. I have never met someone so capable, so intelligent, and so willing to help others as Eric Bushnell. The entire group has never hesitated in helping me and for that I am grateful.
I would like to thank Dr. Charles Macdonald for devoting his valuable time to reading my thesis and Dr. Rob Schurko for his efforts in organizing the undergraduate seminars this year as well as his babysitting us at SOUSCC.
I would like to acknowledge my friends in chemistry: Paul, Hi, Hyder, Manar, Jake, Jess, Tina, and countless others. I am so grateful for meeting these people and I am astonished at how close we have all grown to become.
I would like to express thanks to my family. To my parents Art and Joy, who have sacrificed so much to provide a better life for my sister and me. It was their love and stern support that has shaped me into the person I am today. I would like to thank my girlfriend Olivia, she has kept me sane. It is her support and love that motivated me. Finally, I would like to dedicate the entirety of my work to my little sister Liana who I see as having so much potential to improve this world. I hope to be an example she can live up to and a brother she can be proud of.
For me, chemistry is the complex study of how the fundamental components of our world react.
It is my hope to gain a better understanding of the world we live in.
It is my goal to expand the sphere of human knowledge, if only by an inch.
It is my passion to learn and fulfill my curiosity of science.
It is my dream that like molecules, we as individuals can interact, bind, and create something beautiful.