3MT 2023 Finalist  Sadegh Aghapour Aktij

Sadegh Aghapour Aktij

Chemical and Materials Engineering, College of Natural and Applied Sciences

Blue Energy Harvesting: The Green Choice

Introduce yourself…

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta, with a focus on membrane technology. Since 2013, I have been working in this field with the goal of finding innovative research solutions that will have an immediate impact on the industrial sector and help to solve environmental problems.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

My research field focuses on membrane technology, water and wastewater treatment, and renewable energies. The outcomes of my research have the potential to contribute to the water and wastewater treatment sector, the environment, primary energy supply, the reduction of GHG emissions, and the development of renewable energy production technologies.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

Presenting a 3MT helped me improve my communication skills and learn how to effectively communicate my research to a wider audience. This is an important skill for researchers because it allows them to share their work with the public, policymakers, and potential collaborators. By participating in the competition, I could also receive feedback on my presentation style and learn how to make my research more engaging and understandable to different audiences.

What inspires you to do research?

My motivation for research is driven by the desire to make a valuable contribution to my field of study, advance scientific knowledge, and have a positive impact on society. The global issues of water and energy supplies are particularly compelling to me, as I am motivated to find innovative solutions that can improve people's lives. I enjoy the challenge of developing new ideas and approaches to solve complex problems. I often work collaboratively with other scientists and professionals from diverse backgrounds, which can provide opportunities for learning and growth, as well as a sense of community and shared purpose.

What are three key words important to your 3MT?

Water, Energy, Membrane technology

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities at large?

The demand for water and energy is increasing worldwide, following the continuous growth in the global population and economic development. The world is facing unprecedented challenges in water and energy supplies. My research aims to develop advanced multi-functional membranes with enhanced filtration performance to address these challenges. These membranes can play a critical role in enhancing the primary supply of water and energy. Additionally, my study involves the development of new methodologies and the use of state-of-the-art materials to fabricate a new generation of membranes. These innovative membranes can contribute to Canada's primary energy supply with breakthrough renewable energy production technologies.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I would dedicate my research to my beloved wife, as well as to all my family members, professors, and friends, whose support and encouragement have played a significant role in getting me to where I am today.

3MT Image Description: Membrane is a selected barrier allows the passage of certain molecules and rejects the passage of others. Membrane technology can tackle both problems in water and energy supplies at the same time.

Watch Sadegh's Three Minute Thesis