"I read the research areas of a ton of professors from across the country and those at SFU really caught my interest."

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Student Profile: Nicholaus Zilinski

Biomedical Engineering Science master's student in the Faculty of Applied Science

May 05, 2021
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I moved to Vancouver 3 years ago with my girlfriend to attend grad school at SFU. Around that time I also bought a mountain bike, which has become my absolute favorite thing to do. We have one dog, a corgi named Astro.  And I have a relentless love for caffeinated drinks, which may or may not be related to grad school.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

A friend suggested I check it out. I read the research areas of a ton of professors from across the country and those at SFU really caught my interest.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

I'm working on a very sensitive magnetic field sensor that we can use to detect the tiny fields your brain produces. This type of sensor is known as an optically pumped magnetometer and works by detecting the changes in laser light as it passes through a vapor cell.  The tricky part of this research is detecting the brain fields is like trying to hear someone whisper to you from across a cheering stadium while Metallica plays face-melting tunes. 

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

Definitely the professors. Not only are they extremely passionate about their research, they all care a great deal for students. This includes my current advisors, Dr. Teresa Cheung, Dr. Ash Parameswaran, and Dr. Bonnie Gray. I should also mention Dr. Marinko Sarunic, who helped me a great deal in finding a research project that I was truly passionate about.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

I'll keep this short; exciting.

SFU 3MT Third Place Winner & People's Choice 2021