Brendan Baartman aims to become a research scientist or professor in the field of nuclear medicine or nuclear energy.
Radioactive fascination strikes silver
Since childhood, Langley native Brendan Baartman has been fascinated by the radioactive elements listed in the Periodic Table. “They’re exotic and you have to work really hard to discover them,” he says. “Scientists are still trying to discover new reactions to produce really exotic elements.”
And that fascination has clearly paid off. In addition to receiving his B.Sc. in chemistry this month, Baartman has won a Governor General’s silver medal for his standing as one of SFU’s two top undergraduate scholars.
Baartman set out to win the silver medal after winning a Governor General bronze medal in Grade 12. And he achieved it by earning straight A+s in all of his university courses, with the exception of an A- in a humanities elective. His cumulative grade-point average is an extraordinary 4.32, out of a possible 4.33.
To maintain his high marks, Baartman lived at home and eschewed a part-time job in order to spend more time studying. He aims to become a research scientist or professor in the field of nuclear medicine or nuclear energy, and has already spent two summers pursuing research projects, thanks to two undergraduate student research awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
Since SFU is one of the few Canadian universities to offer nuclear chemistry, Baartman says he will likely have to study in the U.S. to further his education. He is working as a tutorial assistant in chemistry this summer and plans to work for the next year before applying to graduate school.