Kory Schlingman, Yunyun Wu, and Sara MechaelGraduate students Kory Schlingman, Yunyun Wu, and Sara Mechael were winners at the Canadian Society of Chemistry’s centenary conference.

Chemistry students shine at national conference

Four students of chemistry and biochemistry won presentation awards at the Canadian Society of Chemistry’s 100th annual conference and exhibition, held May 28 to June 1 in Toronto.

Three of the winners are graduate students from Tricia Carmichael’s lab and they presented on various aspects of research into creating soft stretchable wearable electronics.

“As the centennial conference, it was extraordinarily well-attended,” says Dr. Carmichael. “Though chem and biochem are always competitive at the national level, this is the first time I’ve had three students win awards in the same year and that demonstrates what high-calibre students we have.”

Undergraduate Jacob Rothera won a poster award in the materials division. His supervisor, chemistry professor Holger Eichhorn, says it was particularly impressive because Rothera was a second-year student, competing against predominantly fourth-year students.

“Clearly, Jacob is rather gifted and was very well-prepared and it is extra thrilling for a win by an undergrad at his first international conference,” says Dr. Eichhorn. “I also want to thank my PhD student Hi Taing who mentored Jacob for the past two years and prepared him for the conference.”

From Carmichael’s group, PhD candidate Yunyun Wu won the RSC Material Horizons Poster Prize for her research on making devices for wearable electronics out of fabric; master’s student Kory Schlingman (BSc 2016) won the oral competition for his talk on self-healing materials; and master’s candidate Sara Mechael (BSc 2016) won an award for her oral presentation in the Self-Assembly at Surfaces symposium with her research project, creating a wearable sign language laboratory glove with integrated electronics.

“To be able to communicate the results of your research is a meaningful skill and these students were all judged on making interesting research, as well as being able to explain why it is important and why people should care,” Carmichael says. “These wins will be real motivators in further research.”