Robert Godin – Group leader

How I got here: B.Sc. @ University of Ottawa, Ph.D. @ McGill University, Postdoc @ Imperial College London
Starting point (hometown): Bathurst, NB

Robert joined The University of British Columbia in July 2018, after spending nearly three years in London, UK. His interests have always been rooted in photochemistry, and now he leads the Solar Energy Conversion and Spectroscopy group. Combining his love of instrumentation and careful analyses, the group is looking to develop advanced spectroscopy and microscopy techniques to gain a deeper understanding of the spatial and energetic heterogeneities in charge carrier dynamics of low cost, carbon-based photocatalysts. This knowledge allows us to understand the limitations of photocatalytic systems and establish design and preparation guidelines for the next generation of high efficiency materials. When outside of the lab, Robert enjoys taking advantage of the great outdoors, exploring the Okanagan’s wine and craft beer industries, and quietly (for now) rooting for the Montreal Canadiens.



Peter Osei Ohemeng – PhD Student

How I got here: Mphil from University of Ghana, Legon, Accra
Starting point (hometown): Akim-Oda, Eastern Region, Ghana

Degree Information: PhD student, Chemistry, UBC Okanagan

Peter has completed a two-year Master’s degree program in Chemistry from the University of Ghana and is currently a PhD student here at UBC Okanaagan. Presently, his research is vastly concentrated on tweaking the morphology of carbon nitride (CNx) as a means of ameliorating its photocatalytic performance towards water purification. Peter will also employ state-of the-art chromatographic techniques to investigate and develop standard procedures for the separation and purification of carbon nitride, all in an effort to unravel the hidden optical properties of the organic semiconductor. He is exceedingly excited to be affiliated to the SolarSpec group and is looking forward to building strong expertise in spectroscopic techniques and semiconductor photocatalysis. Outside working in the lab, Peter takes delight in singing, watching soccer games and exploring new places.



Sutripto Khasnabis – PhD student

How I got here: Bachelor of Engineering from Ramaiah Institute of Technology, India
Starting point: Kolkata, India

Degree information: PhD student, Chemistry, UBC Okanagan

Sutripto is currently pursuing a PhD at UBC Okanagan. His project is focussed on exploring the area of Transient Absorption Microscopy (TAM) and allied spectroscopic techniques to study the underlying charge transfer phenomena of photoactive materials and interfaces. Sutripto wants to work on the theme of sustainable energy and ultimately contribute to the mitigation of the larger problem, which is the climate crisis. This makes working with the SolarSpec group greatly exciting. Outside the lab, Sutripto takes a lot of interest in travelling, playing badminton and identifies as a food enthusiast. He also (secretly) wishes to be a good swimmer one day.



Sam Morris-Probert – MSc student (Sept.2024)

How I got here: Graduated from Kelowna Secondary School, Kelowna, British-Columbia
Starting Point (hometown): Kelowna, BC

Degree Information: M.Sc. Student, Chemistry, UBC Okanagan

Sam is in his final year of his bachelors of science, specialising in chemistry. Sam is most interested in using analytical chemistry to help people, and is very excited to work on applicable research with Solarspec. His project is focussed on studying the photodegradation pathways of organochlorines and on determining the concentrations of organochlorines in soil samples. Outside of school and lab work he is an avid fan of table-top RPG’s of many varieties, alpine skiing, going on long walks, and petting dogs.



Rohan Dilip – Volunteer

How I got here: Stonehill International School
Starting Point: Kerala, India

Rohan is a second-year undergraduate student at UBCO majoring in biochemistry. Having always been a scientific and curious person, Rohan is thrilled to apply his curiosity into research with the SolarSpec group! Outside of the lab, you will likely find him watching a football (soccer) game, exploring nature, or daydreaming about shawarmas.



Emmanuella Esebor– NSERC USRA undergraduate researcher

How I got here: NorthStar Academy
Starting point: London, Ontario

Degree Information: Undergraduate B.Sc., Biochemistry, UBC Okanagan

Emmanuella is a second-year undergraduate student at UBCO, who is majoring in biochemistry. Emmanuella is excited about working in the SolarSpec lab this summer, as she has always been passionate about chemistry. Her project is focused on incorporating iron into carbon nitrides to remove arsenic from water. When Emmanuella is not working or studying, she enjoys hanging out with friends, playing sports, and playing the piano.



Talia Kantautas – Work study student

How I got here: Graduated from Immaculata Regional High School, Kelowna, British Columbia
Starting Point (hometown): Winnipeg, MB

Degree Information: Undergraduate B.Sc., Chemistry, UBC Okanagan

Talia is a fourth-year student at UBC Okanagan majoring in Chemistry. She is passionate about analytical chemistry and is excited to research the capability of carbon nitride to produce hydrogen as a chemical fuel.  When Talia is not in the lab, she enjoys running, hiking and volunteering in the ER at KGH.



Tianrun Hou – Mitacs Globalink student

How I got here: B.Sc.@ The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HKSAR
Starting Point (hometown): Changchun, Jilin province, China

Degree information: B.Sc (Honour) in Engineering Physics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Tianrun is currently an exchange student at UBC Okanagan. His project is mostly focus on Transient Absorption Microscopy (TAM) with different morphology of carbon nitride (CNx) under variable environment conditions and try to find out the more efficiency way to transfer charge accomplish with spectroscopic techniques and semiconductor photocatalysis. Tianrun’s major is in physics, which seems to less relevant to chemistry, but he hopes to apply his firm knowledge in physics and math area on sustainable energy and environmentally friendly themes after finishing his junior year study in UC Berkeley and University of Cambridge. He is excited to pursue his passion to make the world more sustainable with the SolarSpec group. Outside of class, he enjoys swimming, hiking, and traveling around the world.



Sujitha Suresh – Mitacs Globalink student

How I got here: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)-Pune
Starting point (hometown): Chennai, India

Degree information: BS-MS student, Chemistry major, IISER Pune

Sujitha is a BS-MS student from IISER-Pune, working in the SolarSpec as a MITACS intern for the summer of 2024. She is fascinated by the world of photochemistry and aspires to unravel its mysteries. She is excited to work in the SolarSpec group to understand the charge carrier dynamics of carbon nitride photocatalysts. Outside of the lab, Sujitha loves to spend her time sketching, painting, or playing the violin, and enjoys listening to music in her spare hours.



And more to come!

We’re always looking for motivated students to join! Check out the Opportunities page for more info.


Group alumni

Name Current occupation
Jessica Valentina Zarama Buritica Chemical Inventory Coordinator @ UBC Okanagan
Cassandra Mesburis Recent B.Sc. graduate, looking for opportunities
Katharina Mazzotti Recent B.Sc. graduate, looking for opportunities
Mitchell Beckedorf Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Stephanie Busse Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Jenna Holland
Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Maryum Asif Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Alex Barrett Recent B.Sc. graduate, looking for opportunities
Mira Cuthill Co-op placement @ Distribution Engineering (UBC Okanagan BASc)
Chang Liu Recent M.Sc. graduate, looking for opportunities
Yanliang Huang Master’s student @ Stanford University (Environmental Engineering)
Advait Risbud Undergraduate student @ IIT Bombay
Kaye Bennett
MChem student @ York University (UK)
Kai Qi MSc student @ Cornell University
Kadie Wert Environmental Chemist @
Cody Crozier Hazardous Materials Technician @ Apex EHS Services
Laura Stephania Amaya Porras Graduate from Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Columbia
Nicole Alejandra Solano Banuelos Undergraduate student @ Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico
Emma Mitchell Teaching lab technician @ UBC Okanagan
Ziyi Zhang MSc student @ Simon Fraser University
Jeremy Waikwa Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Evan Keenan Student researcher @ Gold Leaf Technologies
James Kivai Engineer in training @ Primary Engineering
Destiny Ellenor Analytical Chemistry @ Innovate Phytoceuticals
Gabrielle Albrecht Graduate from UBC Okanagan
Jasper Pankratz M.Sc. Graduate from UBC Vancouver
Oluwayemisi Ogungbemi @ Amazon
Peiwen Guo Graduate from UBC Okanagan
Kshitij Suri Software Developer @ Design IT Software
Quinn Krahn Student in the UBC Southern Medical Program
Muhammad Ismail College professor
Rachael Curry Technical Manager @ Canned Wine Co.
Ethan French Research Technician at The MGH/HST Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Abigail Law
Grady Hewlett Production Laboratory Technician @ BZAM Cannabis, LinkedIn
Natalie Stapleton Product manager @ GWI
Ahmed Ibrahim R&D @ Covar Pharmaceuticals
Kenny Batke Account manager @ Weir Minerals
Cristian Kwasnek Pharmacy student @ UBC Vancouver