People

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 at 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.

 

 

Jessica Valentina Zarama Buritica- MSc Student (co-Supervised with Dr. Gino DiLabio)

How I got here: M.Sc from Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira
Starting Point: Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia.

Degree information: M. Sc student at UBC Okanagan

Jessica has graduated from the Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira, after which she worked as a science teacher for five years at Colegio Americano de Pereira. She started her first year of her Master’s degree program at UBC Okanagan. She is studying computational chemistry with Dr. DiLabio, and is currently working on the experimental and computational study of carbon nitride, focusing on chemical reactivity and optical properties. She is very excited to be part of the SolarSpec group and to be able to learn more about photochemical catalysts and develop more expertise in spectroscopic techniques. When Jessica is not in the lab or working with the Gaussian program, you can find her cuddling with her cats and reading a good book.

 

 

Mitchell Beckedorf – Work study student

How I got here: Transfer student from Medicine Hat College
Starting point (hometown): Medicine Hat, Alberta

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

Mitchell is a third year undergrad at UBCO, majoring in biochemistry. As a child, Mitchell loved the science fair, and is excited that he can continue to pursue his passion for science with the SolarSpec group! Outside of the lab, you will probably find him skiing, mountain biking, or climbing.

 

 

Stephanie Busse – Work-study student

How I got here: Hunting Hills High School
Staring Point (hometown): Red Deer, Alberta

Degree Information: Undergraduate, B.Sc., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UBC Okanagan

Stephanie is a third year UBCO student studying biochemistry and molecular biology. She has a love of science and is really excited to be part of SolarSpec. When she’s not at school, Stephanie enjoys skiing, traveling and spending time with family, friends and her dog Tippy.

 

 

Katharina Mazzotti – Honours student (co-supervised with Dr. Isaac Li)

How I got here: Liceo Classico Tito Livio
Starting Point (hometown): Milan, Italy

Degree information: Undergraduate third-year, B.Sc., Medical and Molecular Biology, UBC Okanagan

Katharina is a fourth-year student at UBC Okanagan majoring in Medical and Molecular biology. She will continue working on a project consisting in developing the chemistry to covalently bind carbon nitrides to modified glass slides. She is passionate about research in the medical and environmental field and about developing technologies to fight climate change. Outside of class, she enjoys skiing, hiking and playing the piano.

 

 

Sam Morris-Probert – Directed studies student

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

Degree Information: Undergraduate B.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.

 

 

Cassandra Mesburis – Honours student

How I got here: Lakefield College School
Starting point (hometown): Toronto, Ontario 

Degree information: Undergraduate B.Sc in Chemistry (Honours), UBC Okanagan 

Cassandra is in the last year of her undergraduate degree majoring in chemistry. She is excited to continue working in the SolarSpec lab this school year, after doing a project over the summer. Her honours project is focused on determining how different operating conditions affect the charge carrier dynamics in bulk and individual carbon nitride particles. When she’s not studying or working in the lab, Cassie enjoys playing sports, going to concerts and being out with her friends. 

 

 

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.

 

 

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
2023
Jenna Holland
Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Maryum Asif Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Alex Barrett Recent B.Sc. graduate, looking for opportunities
Mira Cuthill Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Chang Liu Recent M.Sc. graduate, looking for opportunities
 2022
Kaye Bennett
MChem student @ York University (UK)
Kai Qi MSc student @ Cornell University
Kadie Wert Environmental Chemist @ SNC-Lavalin
Cody Crozier Hazardous Materials Technician @ Apex EHS Services
Laura Stephania Amaya Porras Undergraduate student @ 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
2021
Jeremy Waikwa Undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Evan Keenan Undergraduate student @ University of Ottawa
James Kivai Co-op placement, undergraduate student @ UBC Okanagan
Destiny Ellenor Quality technician @ Valens
Gabrielle Albrecht Graduate from UBC Okanagan
Jasper Pankratz PhD student @ UBC Vancouver
2020
Oluwayemisi Ogungbemi @ Amazon
Peiwen Guo Graduate from UBC Okanagan
Kshitij Suri Software Designer @ Design IT Software
Quinn Krahn Student in the UBC Southern Medical Program
Muhammad Ismail College professor
Rachael Curry Laboratory Technician @ Accolade Wines
Ethan French Research Technician at The MGH/HST Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Abigail Law Graduate from St. Fx University
Grady Hewlett Production Laboratory Technician @ BZAM Cannabis, LinkedIn
2019
Natalie Stapleton Product manager @ GWI
Ahmed Ibrahim R&D @ Covar Pharmaceuticals
Kenny Batke Account manager @ Weir Minerals
Cristian Kwasnek Pharmacy student @ UBC Vancouver