I went to Euphemia Central Elementary School for the first 9 years of my education. It was a small school, approximately 115 students total, but we had some great teachers. I was lucky enough to have my own aunt as my first ever teacher. It was a great school, but it had to close due to funding cutbacks in recent years. My old school now sits abandoned next to farmers fields and grain bins.
For my high school education, I attended LCCVI in Petrolia, Ontario. As you might of guessed by its name, Petrolia is an oil town. It's actually where they first discovered oil in North America, and as a result is a beautiful town with lots of gorgeous old Victorian buildings. The high school was also well funded, had a great reputation and drew students from a large area. I was one of those students that came from outer reaches of the district and spent hours each day traveling to and from school. It was definitely worth it, as it was here that I developed my love of physics and prepared for my future challenges.
The course work was rigorous and exhausting, but I still decided that I needed to do something more. During the second year of my degree, I became involved with different extracurricular design projects on campus. The most rewarding and exciting project that I became involved with was the solar car. So much so that I spent the majority of my waking hours during my third and forth year in the solar car shop. It was a great opportunity to experience with my own hands and eyes what we were learning in class. The problem solving and hands on skills that I learned in that shop have been invaluable in my research and helped to form the vision of my work going forward.
After finishing my M.S. at MIT, I headed back
to Toronto and started at Pratt & Whitney Canada as a
control systems engineer. The focus of my work was
engine testing for the new PWC617 engine. After one year
at Pratt & Whitney, a great job opportunity presented
itself at Honeywell Aerospace where I also worked as a control
systems engineer. Both of these jobs were great
opportunities and I enjoyed the challenges associated with the
work, but I found myself longing for my university days.
I missed the research challenges, interacting with students,
and the ability to get my hands dirty in many different
engineering projects. As such, I decided I would apply
to start my PhD in the fall of 2008. I also decided to
reconnect with the university environment by working with the
Blue Sky Solar Racing at the University of Toronto during my
I returned to MIT in the fall of 2008 to
start my PhD. Although my expertise was in the area of
control systems, I decided to pursue my PhD in the area of
design and control of renewable energy powered clean water
systems as I viewed it as an area where I could make a
significant impact and where I could be passionate.
This has been a good fit for me and I've been able to
develop design and control methods as well as get my hands
dirty with building mechanical systems. To find out
more about my work, check out my research