"Considering that Simon Fraser University is Canada’s leading comprehensive university, I have the privilege to work and study alongside inspiring and talented researchers from different scientific disciplines. Unlike traditional engineering schools, the School of Engineering Science offers a dynamic engineering program that allows students to tailor and pursue multi-disciplinary research."

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Student Profile: Mohammad Reza Mohammadzadeh

March 18, 2022
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Engineering Science doctoral student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences

My name is Mohammad Reza, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Engineering Science at SFU. After completing my MSc in Mechanical Engineering in my country, Iran, I moved to Vancouver to pursue my studies under the supervision of Prof. Nimal Rajapakse and Dr. Michael Adachi. My research focus is 2D materials and their applications in microelectronics.

If I want to name a single reason for pursuing science and engineering and coming this far, I would say it was and still is all about CURIOSITY! I have always been curious about how things work, how they are made, and what they are made of. Since childhood, I was curious about the mechanics of objects and showed that by dismantling my toys to discover how they were built. It didn't make my parents happy, by the way! As I grew up, I found out science always had the best answers to my questions and could quench my thirst for knowledge.

I found physics my favorite subject in high school, so I enrolled in the physics program at IUT to pursue it further; however, I changed to the engineering track since I later realized it would better fit my interests. Having had a little grasp on both engineering and physics, I learned engineering could equip me with the tools to put my ideas and knowledge into practice. Oscillating between physics and engineering a few times, I ended up working in the field of studies where physics and engineering come into a close collaboration to collectively solve a problem.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

Considering that Simon Fraser University is Canada’s leading comprehensive university, I have the privilege to work and study alongside inspiring and talented researchers from different scientific disciplines. Unlike traditional engineering schools, the School of Engineering Science offers a dynamic engineering program that allows students to tailor and pursue multi-disciplinary research. Because of the multi-disciplinary nature of my research, it is essential to cross disciplinary boundaries and incorporate several fields of study. It has been an honor to join the SFU community at Nano Device Fabrication Group where I can collaborate with great minds from different scientific fields.

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

The story begins from a lab in the UK where a group of researchers was cleaving pencil lead (graphite flakes) with Scotch tape! Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for isolating graphene which is a one-atom-thick carbon sheet. Despite its ultrathin thickness, Graphene is thought to be the strongest material known to exist, 200 times stronger than steel. It also has other extraordinary mechanical and electrical properties such as superconductivity. The discovery of graphene inspired several efforts to expand the 2D materials family as they are strong, lightweight, flexible, and excellent conductors of heat and electricity. In our lab, we study 2D materials to eventually use them as the building blocks of next-generation electronic devices.

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

Working with an amazing team of scientists and being able to experiment with state-of-the-art technologies are the most rewarding aspects of my research at SFU. The research mostly requires spending hours in the lab and collaborating with the rest of the team to tackle the challenges associated with the experimental work. I am so glad that I belong to a research group where people will do their best to help you out when an issue arises. The collaborative working environment helps me to develop my skills and broaden my knowledge while I am enjoying every single moment of my research. I’d like to express my gratitude to the NDF group members for supporting me during my studies and special thanks to Dr. Adachi for founding and leading such a great group.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I am very grateful to have received ‘Graduate Fellowships’ (2019-2021) and ‘Helmut And Hugo Eppich Family Graduate Scholarship’ (2019-2021). The awards did lighten my financial burden and allowed me to devote most of my time to research.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

In my free time, I watch movies, solve puzzles, and work on DIY projects, and when the weather is sunny, I enjoy the beautiful nature of Vancouver.

 

Contact : mrm11@sfu.ca