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The members of Capstone Project Team 6 are very passionate about sustainability. Their project aim was to discover solutions to problems that harm the environment. The group chose to concentrate on the critical problem of microplastics in wastewater. Microplastics are not only harmful to delicate ecosystems but also pose a threat to human health, as well as land and marine life.

The project was called MicroSeize. Team members areRyan Ellis, Helen Engelhardt, Alex Matos, and Matthew Scarfo. They developed a scalable methodology for capturing common plastics that other methods cannot retrieve, such as polystyrene and PET microplastics, from wastewater. Most of their testing was conducted on polystyrene because it creates the smallest microplastics.

Cervical cancer is diagnosed in over 1,000 Canadian women each year, and approximately 410 women die from the disease annually. Women need to undergo regular cervical cancer screening, as early detection can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment.

However, in Ontario, women are only eligible for the Pap Test (or Pap smear) every three years. CT Murphy a Nanotechnology Engineering (NE) graduate (BASc ’23) aims to create a new testing method that allows women to screen for the human papillomavirus (HPV) that usually causes cervical cancer.

Fourth-year Nanotechnology Engineering student Alex Matos was this year’s recipient of the Janet Law-Yip Memorial Award. Winners are selected based on academic achievement combined with extracurricular involvement, particularly in student government and volunteer work.

The Nanotechnology Engineering (NE) Program held its first Design Days event on December 1st. Held in collaboration with the Engineering IDEAs Clinic, NE Design Days challenged teams of first-year students to work together, applying information learned in their first-year course NE 100, which is an introduction to nanotechnology engineering and its various applications from electronics to biology.

The challenge given to the students for this event was to design and construct a working model of a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that uses the power of the wind to create electrical energy. The students were also expected to demonstrate and explain how the triboelectric scale contributes to the triboelectric nanogenerator.

First-year Nanotechnology Engineering (NE) student Aisha Siddiqui is having a banner year! Siddiqui was nationally ranked in first place in her exams. She credits her academic success to a combination of hard work and curiosity. Siddiqui visited the University of Waterloo and attended a two-week quantum school program when she was in grade 12. After that visit, she determined to study here. She chose Nanotechnology Engineering as she felt it was a discipline that is at the forefront of technological advancement.

Students in the Nanotechnology Engineering (NE) Program have the amazing opportunity to learn and work with quantum dots in the third-year lab course called Synthesis of Nanomaterials and their Characterization in an experiment better known as the “Quantum Dot Lab”. Students also have the chance to learn more about them in a fourth-year course on organic electronics.

Tina Dekker graduated from the Nanotechnology Engineering Program at the University of Waterloo in 2017. During her high school years, Dekker was deeply intrigued by the chemistry and physics of atoms. After discovering that studying nanotechnology engineering (NE) involved exploring matter at the atomic and molecular level, she became very interested in the program. The field of nanotechnology was rapidly developing when she began the NE program, which made her even more enthusiastic about learning new and emerging technologies.