The winner of the 2017-2018 Chemical Engineering Medal for Proficiency in Research (Park and Veva Reilly Medal) is Dr. Debbie (Xinyun) Wu. Debbie Wu (PhD, Chemical Engineering, October 2016) have also received the WIN nanofellowships twice, (2014, 2015), which is a fellowship awarded to top graduate students pursuing nanotechnology research at the University of Waterloo.
Debbie’s PhD thesis, entitled ‘Conductive Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) for Electrochemical Applications’, under the supervision of Professors Michael Tam, is among the very few pioneering studies that explore the potential of nature’s latest wonder material - CNC as highly conductive materials/composites for various electrochemical applications. This thesis unlocks many unexplored applications of CNCs, and the findings provide many sustainable alternatives for the next generation energy storage, electrocatalysts, and electrochemical sensors. It is also expected that this work will contribute to the revival of the forestry industry in Canada by enabling high value-added wood-derived products for the market in the near future.
Debbie has 3 provisional patents, 6 refereed papers and 1 book chapter along with 13 posters, conferences, and invited presentations. She has also been awarded the 1st place student presentation award in CSChE symposium (2014, Niagara Falls, Canada). Debbie also showed outstanding teaching ability and received Teaching Assistantship Excellence Award presented by the Sandford Fleming Foundation (2014).
About this award: This award was established by Dr. and Mrs. Park Reilly to recognize skill in research as measured by analysis of an engineering problem, planning an efficient solution of the problem and achieving the solution with superior insight into the science and/or engineering involved. Nominations originate from the PhD Examining Committee. The Graduate Review Committee members consider all nominations and submit a final nominee. The award consists of a silver medal and a cash award.