Our Team

Drew Higgins

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University

higgid2@mcmaster.ca

Note: Some emails sent to my previous address (dhiggins at mcmaster dot ca) have not been coming through, so please use higgid2@mcmaster.ca  

Experience

Assistant Professor - McMaster University (2019-present)

Associate Staff Scientist - Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2017-2018)

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow - Stanford University (2015-2017)

Visiting Scholar - Los Alamos National Laboratory (2014)

Education

PhD, University of Waterloo, 2015

MASc, University of Waterloo, 2011

BASc, University of Waterloo, 2009

About Drew

Drew was born in London, Ontario — a city commonly regarded as the 2nd best London in the world. He studied Chemical Engineering through the University of Waterloo’s 5-year co-op program, which allowed him to gain almost two years of experience working in academic laboratories and industrial settings. Recognizing that academia suited his lifestyle, he pursued graduate school and completed his MASc in 2011 and PhD in 2015 in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Professor Zhongwei Chen. During this time, his research focused on the development of nanostructured catalyst materials for low temperature fuel cells and metal-air batteries. He also spent almost one year at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) as a visiting scholar working with Dr. Piotr Zelenay, Dr. Gang Wu and LANL’s talented fuel cell research team.


In 2015, Drew began a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University under the supervision of Professor Thomas Jaramillo, carrying out fundamental electrochemical CO2 reduction catalysis research. He was promoted to an Associate Staff Scientist in 2017, and continued with his research in the field of electrocatalysis for electrochemical CO2 reduction, fuel cells and electrochemical water splitting technologies. 


He finally made his return to the Great White North, where he began as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University in January 2019. Outside of “work” (quotations suggesting that pursuing one's passion need not be considered work), Drew can be found socializing with friends and colleagues, playing sports, spending time outdoors, or yelling at the television watching his beloved Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Raptors or Toronto Blue Jays.

PhD Students

Ahmed Abdellah

abdellaa@mcmaster.ca

Education:

M.Sc. in Laser Applications in Metrology, Photochemistry and Agriculture, National Institute of Laser Enhances Sciences, Cairo, Egypt 

B.Sc. in Chemistry, Asuit University, Egypt

Project:

Novel Nanomaterials for Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide into Fuels and Chemicals.

About Me:

During my graduate studies, I worked as a Research Assistant and Fine Products Manager in Nanotech Egypt for a Photovoltaics Company. I have more than seven years of experience in the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for Biomedical, Environmental, and Energy Applications. I worked as a Senior Researcher in the most prestigious The American University in Cairo and the Zewail City of Science and Technology. I am a first and co-author of nine peer-reviewed research articles in addition to three conference posters. I’ve been honored with two international visiting scholar internships at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore under the supervision of Prof. Jackie Ying and Leng Leng Chung, and at Georgia Tech in the USA under the supervision Prof. Mostafa Elsayed and Faisal Alamgir.

Fatma Ismail

ismaif1@mcmaster.ca

Education:

M.Sc., The National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences, Cairo University, Egypt

Diploma, The National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences, Cairo University, Egypt

B.Sc, Faculty of Science, Minia University, Egypt

Project:

Design and Characterization of Novel Nano-Hybrid Structures for Carbon Dioxide Reduction via Electrocatalysis.

About Me:

In 2013, Fatma joined Zewail City of Science and Technology as a Senior Researcher working on developing novel nanostructured materials and the utilization of these materials in energy-related applications including DSSCs and Supercapacitors. She joined KAUST in 2015 as a visiting scholar under the supervision of Dr.Eddauodi and Dr.Abdelsaboor to start her M.Sc. research by investigating the use of MOFs/nano-metal oxide composites in DSSCs and understanding the physical dynamics of the produced materials using the ultrafast laser spectroscopy. In 2016, Fatma joined Gatech as a visiting scholar to complete her M.Sc. studies under the supervision of Dr.Mostafa Elsayed in the Laser Dynamics Laboratory [LDL]. Besides the academic life, she likes music, traveling, singing, watching movies, socializing and making new friendships and having quality time with her precious daughter. 

Chunyang Zhang

zhanc125@mcmaster.ca

Education:

M.Sc. in Polymer Chemistry, Pittsburg State University, US
B.Sc. in Metallic Materials Engineering, Henan University of Science and Technology, China

Project:

In Situ Soft X-rays Characterization of Catalysts and Electrodes for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction (co-advised with Professor Adam Hitchcock)

About Me:

In my undergraduate studies, I have been selected as university-sponsored exchange student to study in US for 1 year. I was granted a full research scholarship and Excellence in Scholarship Award due to my research work during the master studies. I have worked as a research assistant in Chinese Academy of Sciences and Peking University, which are both the most prestigious research institutes in China. I am a first and co-author of ten peer-reviewed research articles and have done 2 times poster conference presentations on ACS National Meetings. I have more than three years of experience in the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for energy application. Outside of the research, I like to stay at home and relax (which is my favorite ). And I also enjoy playing bridge, exercising and cooking.

MASc Students

Ladan Shahcheraghi

shahchel@mcmaster.ca

Education:

B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology

Project:

Synthesis and characterization of inexpensive nanostructured oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts with high activity and stability for the electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide which has a number of applications in water treatment, and the integration of best-performing catalysts into operational fuel cells. 

About Me:

During my undergraduate career, I worked as a Research Assistant on a project focused on the synthesis and characterization of NiO nano‐spheres by templating on chitosan as a green precursor at Monash University. I completed my internship at DarouPakhsh Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company and was employed by Nestlé Waters Company upon graduation. Outside the lab, I enjoy playing the piano, listening to classical music, socializing with friends and hiking.

Undergraduate Researchers

Katie Doran

dorank@mcmaster.ca

Education:

Pursuing Bachelors in Chemical Biology, McMaster University

Project:

Shape and size controlled palladium alloy nanoparticles for electrocatalytic applications

About Me:

Katie is a fourth year Chemical Biology student at McMaster University with a passion for research, innovation and discovery. In the past, she had the chance to work with gold nanoparticle-doped perovskites as photocatalysts in the Hallett-Tapley Lab at StFX University, as well as novel bacterial natural products as a Research Technician with Adapsyn Bioscience. Moving forward, Katie is enthusiastic to apply her skills towards research in electrocatalysis and sustainable energy. Outside of classes/the lab, you can find Katie catching up with friends, playing guitar, watching Netflix or hanging out in the library.

Alumni

Melissa Cusack Striepe

cusackm@mcmaster.ca

Education:

Pursuing Bachelors in Chemical Engineering & Society, McMaster University

About Me:

Melissa is a fourth year Chemical Engineering & Society student at McMaster and is excited about research, community involvement, and sustainability. She is interested in using her engineering degree to find technical solutions to complex local, and global, problems. In the past Melissa has actively researched novel geo-textile membranes for sludge dewatering, and hydrogels for use in burn wound care. She is excited to start researching in the field of electro catalysis. 

Michael Nguyen

nguyep23@mcmaster.ca

Education:

Pursuing Bachelors in Chemical Engineering, McMaster University

Project:

Characterization of inexpensive electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with high activities, stability using hydrodynamic voltammetry.

About Me:

I am a 2nd-year chemical engineering student. I hope to apply engineering principles I learned in the classrooms in global issues such as sustainable energy sources. Outside of work, I really enjoy hitting the gym, playing video games here and there. 

More coming soon....

© 2019 Drew Higgins, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University