Pictured above is Alex Matos and Shawn Benedict who won top of his class

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.

Matos certainly fits the bill! They served as an executive for the Conference on Diversity and Engineering that took place at the University of Waterloo in November 2023. The conference brought together 150 students from 39 universities across Canada to gather knowledge and participate in conversations about how engineering programs can create spaces that value diversity.

Matos is also involved in student politics and in the Engineering Society. They even recently shaved their head for charity!  Matos received the Janet Law-Yip Memorial Award at a student awards dinner.

“It was a great experience to be surrounded by so many bright student leaders and be able to collectively celebrate our achievements,” says Matos, a fourth-year student.

Matos chose to do their degree in Nanotechnology Engineering because they were interested in nanotheranostics. However, further on in their undergraduate journey, Matos became more interested in materials science with a focus on sustainable materials.

Matos has found that life as a Nanotechnology Engineering student has provided incredible opportunities and the chance to meet very interesting people. A semester abroad on an exchange to Denmark Technical University was one of these opportunities. This experience abroad led to exposure to different perspectives in terms of pedagogy and alternative ways of learning. Matos is now eager to pursue graduate studies in Europe.

Matos has also enjoyed a variety of positions through the University of Waterloo Co-op program. They found that having varied co-op experiences helped them to discover areas they felt passionate about working in. Co-op helped to solidify what type of work would align with Matos' personal and professional values.

“The Co-op program has been fantastic. Thus far, I have worked in the fuel cell industry, the microelectromechanical systems industry and I’ve also been able to conduct research in the field of photovoltaics. In the future, I’d like to work in the field of carbon capture since it bridges sustainability and material science, both of which I am incredibly passionate about," says Matos.

Matos is fully engaged in working on their Fourth-Year Design Project for the Capstone Symposium which will take place on March 22nd. Congratulations to Matos for winning the Janet Law-Yip Memorial Award!