CREATE Graduate Training Programs

Veinot ATUMS Students

Regina Sinelnikov

I am a Ph.D. student in the Veinot group. I was born in Russia, but raised in Israel and received my Honors Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario. I am currently working on hybrid silicon and carbon nanomaterials, which have the potential to exhibit some cool properties. When not in the lab, I enjoy reading books, learning new languages and traveling.

Email: sinelnik[at] 



Maryam Aghajamali

I obtained my B.Sc. in Applied Chemistry from the University of Tabriz and my M.Sc. in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Tehran. Then, I worked for a Petrochemical Research and Technology company in Iran for almost two years before joining Dr. Veinot’s group in September of 2013. I started my B.Sc. research on the chemical modification of natural polymers, and then I continued my M.Sc. research on the synthesis of biodegradable polymers for drug delivery applications, and now the focus of my Ph.D. research is on hybrid nanostructures. I like to hang out with my friends both inside and outside of the lab.

Email: aghajama[at] 



Amirul Islam

I joined the Veinot Team as a Ph.D. student in September 2012. Currently, I am working on SiNCs based catalysis and Silicon/polymer hybrid materials. My home country is Bangladesh, in South Asia. I received my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Bangladesh), where I worked on the photocatalytic degradation of dyes and electrocatalytic reduction of inorganic ions as well as the development of a photocatalysis and electrochemical based technology for controlling water pollution. Before coming to Canada, I was working in the analytical method development and validation department at Renata Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. I like playing and watching cricket as well as traveling in my free time.

Email: maislam[at] 



Alyx Aarbo

Alyx Aarbo

I was born in Victoria, B.C.. When I was little I moved around quite a bit, but I spent my high school days in a small town called Elk Point. I did my B.Sc. in Chemistry at King’s University in Edmonton. My research is focused on using silicon nanocrystals as catalysts and combining them with metals to see what other properties emerge. In my free time I enjoy reading books, traveling, watching movies (especially Disney movies), and playing sports/games.

Email: aarbo[at]




Chris Robidillo

I'm from the island nation of the Philippines. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of the Philippines Manila and my Master's degree in Chemistry from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. I previously worked with carbohydrate-encapsulated gold nanoparticles and used them for probing multivalent carbohydrate-protein interactions. Now, I'm part of the Veinot group where my research will primarily involve the fabrication of functional hybrid nanomaterials. When not hanging out with friends, I can just usually be found comfortably settled in my room getting my self lost in a good book.


Email: robidill[at]


Emmett (Haoyang) Yu

I was born in China, and I studied abroad for my B.Sc. degree at Carleton University in 2011. In September of 2015 I started graduate studies at the U of A and joined the Veinot group. I am now working on the synthesis and functionalization of very rarely explored germanium and related nanoparticles. When I am not busy in school, I like hiking and exploring landscapes with my camera. Edmonton is a very nice place; the Rockies are close by and you have the chance to watch the excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying colors at night (I mean the aurora).

Email: hy1[at] 




Md Asjad Hossain

I was born in a small island called Sandwip in southern part of Bangladesh. I completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry at Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. During my undergrad research I worked on TiO2-Carbon Nanotube composite thin films for photocatalytic degradation of dyes. Before coming to Canada I worked at Square Toiletries Ltd. (a renowned toiletries & cosmetic industry in Bangladesh) for almost two years as a Product Development Executive. I then moved to Edmonton, Canada to pursue my higher studies at University of Alberta. I joined Dr. Veinot's Lab as a graduate student in September 2016 where I am interested in using hybrid silicon nanostructures in the application of Solar Cell, LEDs etc. I love to dream, but my dreams are bigger than my achievements. I like to travel and watch movies (specially detective ones like Sherlock Holmes) in my free time.

Email: mdasjad[at]



Subha Jana

I am from India, the land of mysteries and diversities. I was born and brought up in a small village in west Bengal. I completed my integrated MS in chemistry from IISER Kolkata in 2016, and then joined UAlberta as a graduate student. I am new to Edmonton, so I have a lot of things to discover. Luckily, I met Dr. Veinot who introduced me to the beauty and prospects of silicon chemistry and I grabbed the opportunity to work with him. Right now I am just looking at the projects and getting familiar with the laboratory environment but very soon I shall be having my own project to work on. I am a huge fan of Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Steven Wilson, Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin. In my leisure time I like to watch movies, football and cricket matches. I am always up for hiking and camping.

Email: subha[at] 



Zach Zhang

I'm from China. I got both my Bachelor's and Master's degree from Jilin University. My hometown is located in the Northeast of China, which is literally the coldest area of the country. I have heard a lot about the long and cold winter of Alberta, and that makes me very curious about the first upcoming one. No matter what, here I am! It has been an exciting journey for me to begin my PhD research in Prof. Veinot's group. When I have spare time, I enjoy cooking (I am a pretty good chef, well Chinese dishes only for now. LOL) and staying at home to relax.

Email: xiyu4[at] 




Lydia Fialka

I'm a Ukrainian-Canadian who was born and raised right here, in Edmonton, Alberta. Currently enrolled in a MSc in Chemistry, I spend most of my time at the UofA. During my down time (evenings, weekends, holidays...) you can usually find me doing one (or more) of the following things: reading, drinking wine, practicing moksha yoga, or skirting away to the mountains for a weekend getaway! During my undergraduate program I was fortunate enough to work under the supervision of Dr. Jeffery Stryker. My research was multifaceted; topics included both the synthesis of novel imido- Co and Ni clusters intended for HDS, as well as mechanistic HDS studies. I am looking forward to getting back in the lab, learning some new chemistry and starting my project in the Veinot group!

Email: fialka[at] 



Mckenzie Oliver

I was born in Cold Lake, Alberta, but grew up in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well. I did my undergraduate training here in Edmonton, at the King's University. Edmonton is an amazing city, and I'm very excited to be doing graduate work here as well. The vast and important applications of materials and inorganic chemistry are very interesting to me, and I am eager to learn more over the course of my research. When I'm not in the lab I'm usually listening to my favorite band, The Mountain Goats, or consuming some combination of a good tv show, a good board game, and a good book.

Email: mgoliver[at] 



Yingjie HeYingjie He (Jay)

I grew up in Hunan, China before I came to University of Alberta for my undergraduate studies. I chose to stay at UofA for my graduate studies because I’m familiar with the environment and people here and I really like the Veinot group’s versatile research direction. Right now, my research interest lies in developing catalyst for Zn-air battery. In my spare time I love reading novels and watching high quality TV shows.

Email: yingjie3[at] 




Sarah MillikenSarah Milliken

I joined the Veinot group in September of 2017. I earned my BSc. at the University of Waterloo in a co-operative Chemistry program with a Materials specialization. My previous research involved paper substrates for SERS and Au NR superlattice for SERS detection of cannabinol. As a graduate student in the Veinot group I am interested in hybrid and doped nanomaterials for use in catalysis, imaging and therapy. In my free time I like to spend time with friends, explore Edmonton, play games or read a good book.

Email: smillike[at]