York University PhD student Mohammad Nazari in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, is travelling to Ludwigshafen, Germany, in June for an industrial internship at BASF, the world’s largest chemical company. The internship is funded by the German Academic Service Exchange (DAAD) through its competitive RISE Professional program, which offers opportunities for science and engineering students from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland to gain practical, career-building experience in Germany.
During his internship at BASF, Nazari will be researching and developing new engine coolant fluids. This is his second trip to Germany for his PhD research; in 2014, he visited the company WITec to characterize his research materials using a new imaging spectroscopy technique.
“The experience was very enriching in terms of the new knowledge gained in relation to my research and culturally – I made some good friends,” said Nazari. “I recommend this type of scientific travel to all graduate students. In fact it prompted me to seek further opportunities abroad.”
Nazari is completing his PhD under the supervision of chemistry Professor Sylvie Morin. He joined York University in 2012 after completing a BSc and MSc from the University of Tehran (Iran) and gaining valuable research and development (R&D) research and managerial experience at various chemical companies in Iran.
His doctoral research focuses on the design and characterization of materials that can photodegrade pollutants in water using the sun’s energy to drive the process. He is specifically investigating the properties of modified titanium dioxide materials, as they are relatively cheap, easy to synthesize and non-toxic. In fact, titanium dioxide is found in some household products, such as sunscreen, because of its UV absorption qualities. Part of Nazari’s research is also conducted at the University of Toronto with engineering Professor Susan Andrews, who studies the optimization of water treatment processes, particularly for drinking water.