Graduate Researcher — Jan 2019 to Dec 2020
Department of Chemical Engineering — University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
I joined Prof. Jeff Gostick’s PMEAL research group at the start of 2019. My research was in developing and characterizing gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for zinc – air batteries, a large scale renewable energy storage technology. These GDE materials utilize nanoscale carbon fibers with improved mass transport properties and integrated catalyst layers.
The research involved polymer and materials science principles, as well as an understanding of electrochemistry, fuel cell design, and porous media characterization. I collaborated with an industrial partner who was partially supporting the project, as well as several research groups at the University of Calgary and Simon Fraser University.
- Produced novel cathode structures with unique morphology via electrospinning and electrospraying techniques.
- Developed, built, and used custom analytical equipment to evaluate physical properties such as porosity, hydrophobicity, and permeability of cathode materials.
- Screened material designs with performance testing experiments and used results to guide further material development.
- Characterized the electrochemical properties of cathode materials, such current/voltage response, in a bench scale test cell.
As a side project, I developed a Python package and webapp called “BEaTmap”. It is a conceptualization and visualization aid for BET analysis, a physical adsorption based technique used for specific surface area measurement. The BEaTmap webapp may be found at www.pmeal.com/beatmap and the project is available on GitHub.
Health and Safety Representative — Dec 2019 to Dec 2020
UW Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (CEGSA)
I worked with the department in conducting lab inspections, developing COVID safety plans, and served as the primary contact for graduate students with safety concerns. Being part of CEGSA’s executive team, I helped plan and manage departmental events ranging from social coffee hours to professional workshops.
Teaching Assistant: CHE101L, CHE120/NE111, CHE181, CHE180 — May 2019 – Dec 2020
Department of Chemical Engineering — University of Waterloo
I enjoyed TAing undergraduate courses, particularly hands-on lab and design project courses. Responsibilities typically included assisting professors in preparing and designing the course, running lab sections, and providing feedback to students.
- CHE101L: Ran lab sections, taught fundamental engineering principles, and marked lab reports.
- CHE120/NE111: Assisted students with Python and Excel/VBA problem sets during tutorials and office hours.
- CHE180: Organized a team of seven TAs and supported students throughout a semester long design project.
- CHE181: Designed and lead labs for a first year instrumentation project using Arduino Unos and Python.
Senior Field Engineer: Reservoir Evaluation — Aug 2014 to Jun 2018
Radiation Safety Officer — Jun 2016 – Jun 2018
Schlumberger — Wireline Evaluation Services, Tyler, TX, USA
My responsibilities as a Senior Field Engineer included data acquisition, technical service preparation/delivery, and on-location consulting for non-standard operations (fishing, unconventional conveyance, etc). Additionally, I interfaced with clients and other Schlumberger segments, trained and mentored junior field engineers, and fostered a safe work environment both at our base and at well sites. I was continually learning, and cross trained to master the technology of Schlumberger’s cased hole segment and that of ThruBit, a recently acquired company, allowing our district to offer clients a wider range of services.
As Radiation Safety Officer I ensured regulatory compliance according to the NRC and the Texas Department of State Health Services, trained employees on safe practices to minimize exposure, and managed radiation records to maintain government compliance.
- Planned, oversaw, and executed over 240 projects over 3 years across the southern US. Gross revenue per job ranged from $5,000 to $400,000, averaging approximately $30,000.
- Enhanced service quality through failure analysis. Solutions included adjusting technical specifications, reorganization of asset supply/storage, and formal modification of standard operating procedures.
- Implemented lean principles and adapted to a variable business environment. We increased the technology and services delivered by our district in the midst of an 80% reduction in local personnel.
- Coordinated the maintenance of logging tools, heavy equipment, and vehicle fleets. This required working with a wide variety of vendors and maintenance centers in addition to internal electrical and mechanical techs.
Undergraduate Researcher, SURE Award Recipient — May to Sept. 2013
Department of Chemical Engineering — McGill University, Montreal QC
My project, guided by Prof. Milan Maric, involved modifying the surface of nanocrystalline cellulose with styrene polymers to impart specific chemical and mechanical properties via controllable nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP) pathways. I turned over the findings of my research to supplement graduate projects.
- Worked in developing a novel nanocrystalline cellulose polymerization method, using controllable and environmentally conscious NMP techniques.
- Collaborated with McGill’s Department of Chemistry in FTIR, XRD, XPS and 13C NMR analysis.
- Maintained strong communication with faculty and graduate students, relaying results and seeking constructive feedback.
Undergraduate Researcher — May to Sept. 2012
Department of Chemical Engineering — University of Maine, Orono ME, USA
I earned a research grant from the NSF and worked at the University of Maine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, determining the feasibility of an oxidative pretreatment of raw materials the production of pyrolysis oil from woody biomass.
- Independently designed and conducted experiments to evaluate an oxidative raw material pretreatment for the pyrolysis process.
- Reported progress to my P.I., Dr. M. Clayton Wheeler, and a group of peers and professors.
- Produced and presented conclusive findings in the four months of the project.
Laboratory Technician — May to Sept. 2011, Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012
Department of Food Science/Human Nutrition — University of Maine, Orono ME
In an analytical lab, headed by Prof. L. Brian Perkins, I mastered and carried out various assays for university projects, government contracts, and private industry.
- Became experienced in multiple analytical chemistry instruments, such as HPLC with various detectors, GC-MS, LC-MS, and FTIR spectroscopy.
- Worked independently on multiple projects, covering many aspects of the food industry and a variety of wet chemistry techniques.
- Became familiar with the technical challenges faced by the food industry in quality control, regulatory compliance, and product development.
M.A.Sc. Chemical Engineering 2019 to 2020
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, CA
B.Eng. Chemical Engineering 2010 to 2014
McGill University, Montreal, QC, CA
- Chemical Engineering Student Council U3 Class Representative
- Writer/editor at the Plumber’s Ledger and Technophilic Magazine
- McGill Chem-E Car Design Team, Stop Mechanism Team Leader
F.E. Exam, Chemical Engineering — Pass 2014
A Near-Isotropic Proton-Conducting Porous Graphene Oxide Membrane, Serubbabel Sy, Gaopeng Jiang, Jing Zhang, Hadis Zarrin, Timothy Cumberland, Salah Abureden, Ellsworth Bell, Jeff Gostick, Aiping Yu, and Zhongwei Chen, ACS Nano, https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c04533
- I designed and performed the relative humidity experiments in this work.
Electrospinning as a route to advanced carbon fibre materials for selected low-temperature electrochemical devices: A review, Yue Wen, Matt D.R. Kok, Jorge Pavel Victoria Tafoya, Ana B. Jorge Sobrido, Ellsworth Bell, Jeff T. Gostick, Servann Herou, Philipp Schlee, Maria-Magdalena Titirici, Dan J.L. Brett, Paul R. Shearing, Rhodri Jervis, Journal of Energy Chemistry, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jechem.2020.11.014
- I wrote Section 5 – Metal air batteries and beyond, discussing recent research in electrospun materials for lithium and zinc air batteries.
Eagle Scout, Private Tutor, Head Coach – Kitchener Soccer Club, Photographer
Last updated December 2020.