As Canada’s largest nanotechnology institute, committed to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) actively celebrates emerging leaders in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. These individuals from across the globe whose research aligns with one or more of our thematic areas and the UN SDGs are eligible for the WIN Rising Star Award in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. This year's recipients are Professor Drew Higgins from McMaster University, Canada and Professor Robert Hoye, Imperial College London, England.
Professor Drew Higgins, McMaster University
In January 2019, Drew Higgins began as an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University, where his research focuses on the development and understanding of electrocatalyst materials and electrode structures for sustainable electrochemical energy technologies, including fuel cells, electrolyzers, batteries and supercapacitors. His team also conducts in situ / operando characterization of electrochemically active materials. Drew completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Zhongwei Chen and working within the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. His PhD work involved the synthesis, characterization and device integration of nanostructured oxygen reduction catalysts for low temperature fuel cells. During this time, he spent just under one year at the Los Alamos National Laboratory working under the mentorship of Professor Piotr Zelenay. In 2015, Drew started a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University in the Department of Chemical Engineering, working in Professor Thomas Jaramillo’s group. His research focused on obtaining a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms and properties governing electrochemical CO2 reduction catalysis. In 2017, he was promoted to an Associate Staff Scientist at Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where he oversaw research activities focusing on discovering and understanding new electrocatalyst compositions and structures for a variety of important electrochemical reactions, including water oxidation, CO2 reduction, oxygen reduction and methane activation.. At McMaster University, his team focuses on nanomaterial development, understanding and integration into sustainable electrochemical energy devices. More details are available at: https://www.higginslab.com/.
Professor Robert Hoye, Imperial College London
Professor Robert Hoye is a Lecturer and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. He leads the Energy Materials & Devices Group, which focuses on the development of functional thin films for next-generation energy systems. His work has led to the realisation of new classes of semiconductors that could tolerate defects, and their demonstration in photovoltaics, photoelectrochemical cells and light-emitting diodes. He has also developed new techniques to manufacture the active layers in devices at scale. His work has gained interest from several companies, who have formed partnerships with his team.
Professor Hoye completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge (2012-2014), where he was awarded the Jackman Prize for best thesis for his work on the scalable growth of oxide charge transport layers. He was subsequently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at MIT (2015-2016), where his work on novel bismuth-based solar absorbers was awarded a patent and highlighted by the US Department of Energy. In 2016-2019, he returned to the University of Cambridge as a Junior Research Fellow. From 2018, he took-up a 5-year Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship, initially at Cambridge, before moving to Imperial College as a Lecturer in Jan. 2020. Professor Hoye was awarded the Young Engineer of the Year prize by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2018 and the Sir Henry Royce Medal by the Institution of Engineering and Technology in 2019.