Who is the Veinot Group?

Link to Veinot Group Alumni page.

Link to visiting ATUMS students page.


Group Image

The Boss!!

Dr. Jonathan Veinot

I am originally from southern Ontario and grew up in St. Catharines. My first recollection of any interest in science was playing with magnets and iron filings. I quickly graduated to a magnifying glass, the sun and ANYTHING I COULD BURN! My intrigue with science grew from there, it even encompassed the television shows and characters I enjoyed and a child. Upon entering high school at Laura Secord Secondary School I had two primary interests – performance music (vocal and instrumental) and science. My musical endeavors instilled a work ethic necessary to succeed in anything I chose and my science classes simply fascinated me. I credit my grade 13 chemistry teacher, Ted Veenstra, and exploration based teaching methods with giving me a love for Chemistry.

After graduating from LSSS I went on to the University of Western Ontario where I chose to study chemistry (a musician’s life was clearly too unpredictable for me). I still remember my first year chemistry class with Prof. T.K. Sham, a brilliant scientist with whom I have now had the pleasure to collaborate with as part of my own research program. I trundled through the chemistry program and performed undergraduate research with Prof. Martin Stillman who welcomed me into his bioinorganic chemistry lab where he reinforced the work ethic I first observed during my study of music. This was my first exposure to “true” research and I must have had some talent for it because I received a research award from the department of chemistry. The fire was lit! It was time for graduate studies and the start of a research career.

I went on to graduate studies at York University in North York (now Toronto). I chose to work for two fantastic mentors, Professors Bill Pietro and Barry Lever. We didn’t have a lot of funding but we made the most of what we had and the creativity we needed to succeed has served me well. My research focus changed numerous times, it started with the synthesis and electrochemistry of zinc phthalocyanine, moved on to electroluminescent Ru containing polymers and finally settled in with the synthesis and functionalization of CdS quantum dots.

After graduate studies I was not convinced I wanted to push through a post doc because I thought I wanted to start “living”. I decided to teach at Seneca College for a year and explore the possibility of a teaching career. My time at Seneca was truly rewarding but it was clear to me that research was where my heart was. I applied for and was awarded an NSERC PDF to perform research at Northwestern University (Evanston, Il, USA) with Prof. Tobin Marks. This was a formative time in my career. I fully embraced the opportunity to work with star industrial and academic researchers from around the world and had a lot of fun doing it. My project had two primary goals, to make organic light-emitting diode (OLED) nanopixels and to tailor electrode surface chemistry to improve OLED device efficiency and stability. After just two years of hard work we succeeded on both fronts!!!

In July 2002, I joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta as an Assistant Professor and promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 with tenure. My exceptional team of undergraduates and graduate students is funded by a variety of industry and non-government sources as well as more traditional sources (e.g., NSERC) and our efforts have been rewarded with an NSERC accelerator supplement as well as the University of Alberta Faculty of Science Research Award. I am looking forward to seeing where our various studies go and realizing significant successes. For those of you looking to join a dynamic research team, I hope to meet you soon and welcome you as a member of our research family.

Beyond my interest in chemistry, I enjoy spending time with my three little girls and two Labrador retrievers as well as playing golf and out on my ski boat.

Maryam Aghajamali

Click to email Maryam Aghajamali

Hi! It’s me! Maryam! I was born in Astara, Iran (a green city by the Caspian Sea). I received my BSc in Applied Chemistry from University of Tabriz and MSc in Polymer Chemistry from University of Tehran. I worked for Petrochemical Research and Technology Company in Iran for almost two years before joining the Veinot group in Sept. 2013. The focus of my MSc research was preparing drug delivery carriers based on both natural and synthetic biodegradable polymers, and the main focus of my PhD is the synthesis of silicon nanocrystal-based hybrid materials. I enjoy hanging out with friends (both in the lab and outside of the lab), travelling, eating delicious food, and cooking. People say I have a sunny personality and I’m always in a happy mood.

Regina Sinelnikov

Click to email Regina Sinelnikov

Hi, I’m Regina (not the city) and I am a PhD student in the Veinot group. I was born in Russia, but raised in Israel and received my Honors Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario. I am currently working on hybrid silicon and carbon nanomaterials, which have the potential to exhibit some cool properties. When not in the lab, I enjoy reading books, learning new languages and traveling.

Christopher Jay Robidillo

Click to email Christopher Jay Robidillo

Hi! I'm Chris and I'm from the island nation of the Philippines. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of the Philippines Manila and my Master's degree in Chemistry from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. I previously worked with carbohydrate-encapsulated gold nanoparticles and used them for probing multivalent carbohydrate-protein interactions. Now, I'm part of the very cool Veinot group where my research will primarily involve the fabrication of functional hybrid nanomaterials. When not hanging out with friends, I can just usually be found comfortably settled in my room getting my self lost in a good book.

Haoyang (Emmett) Yu

Click to email Haoyang (Emmett) Yu

Hi, I am Emmett. I was born in China, and I started studying abroad for my BSc. degree at Carleton University since 2011. In 2015 September, I start my graduate study at U of A and luckily joined Veinot’s group. I am now working on the synthesis and functionalization of very rarely exploded germanium and related nanoparticles. Our boss is full of ideas and this is creative but fun group. When I am not busy in school, I like hiking and exploring landscape with my camera. Edmonton is a very nice place, travel in Rokies, and have chances watching the excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying colors at night (I mean aurora).

Alyx Thiessen

Click to email Alyx Thiessen

Hi! My name is Alyx Aarbo and I was born in Victoria, BC. When I was little I moved around quite a bit, but I spent my high school days in a small town called Elk Point. I did my B. Sc. in Chemistry at the King’s University in Edmonton. My research is focussed on using silicon nanocrystals as catalysts and combining them with metals to see what other properties emerge. In my free time I enjoy reading books, travelling, watching movies (especially Disney movies), and playing sports/games.

Md Asjad Hossain

Click to email Md Asjad Hossain

Hi! I am Asjad. I came from Bangladesh. I was born in a small island called Sandwip in southern part of Bangladesh. I have completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. During my undergrad research I worked on TiO2-Carbon Nanotube composite thin films for photocatalytic degradation of dyes. Before coming to Canada I served Square Toiletries Ltd. (a renowned toiletries & cosmetic industry in Bangladesh) for almost two years as Product Development Executive. Then I moved to Edmonton, Canada to pursue my higher studies at University of Alberta. I have joined Dr. Veinot Lab as Graduate Student on September 2016. I am interested in using hybrid silicon nanostructures in the application of Solar Cell, LEDs etc. I love to dream, but my dreams are bigger than my achievements. I like to travel and watch movies (specially detective ones like Sherlock Holmes) in my free times.

Xiyu (Zach) Zhang

Click to email Xiyu (Zach) Zhang

Hi everyone, I'm Xiyu(Zach) Zhang. I'm from China. I got both my Bachelor's and Master's degree in Jilin University. My hometown is located in the Northeast of China, which is literally the coldest area of the country. I have heard a lot about the long and cold winter of Alberta, and that makes me very curious about the first upcoming one. No matter what, here I am! It has been an exciting journey for me to begin my PhD research in Prof. Veinot's group. When I have spare time, I enjoy cooking (I am a pretty good chef, well Chinese dishes only for now. LOL) and staying at home to relax.

Sarah Milliken

Click to email Sarah Milliken

My name is Sarah and I joined the Veinot group in 2017. I earned my BSc at the University of Waterloo in a co-operative Chemistry program with a Materials specialization. My previous research involved paper substrates for SERS and Au NR superlattice for SERS detection of cannabinol. As a graduate student in the Veinot group I am interested in hybrid and doped nanomaterials for use in catalysis, imaging and therapy. In my free time I like to spend time with friends, explore Edmonton, play games or read a good book.

Yingjie (Jay) He

Click to email Yingjie (Jay) He

My name is Yingjie (Jay) He and I am a new graduate student in the Veinot group. I was born and raised in China and just finished my Bachelor’s degree with specialization in chemistry at the University of Alberta. At this point I’m still trying to explore the literature and come up with some new project. In my spare time, I enjoy watching films and reading novels (R+L=J).

Mckenzie Oliver

Click to email Mckenzie Oliver

Hello, I'm Mckenzie and I joined the group in 2017. I was born in Alberta but have lived in a couple different provinces over the years. I did my B.Sc. in Chemistry at the King's University in Edmonton. When I'm not in the lab I'm usually listening to my favorite band, The Mountain Goats, or consuming some combination of a good tv show, a good board game, and a good book.

Master Jedi Yoda

Email: Use The Force

Master Jedi Yoda, email: use the force Yoda, at over 900 years old, is easily the oldest member of the Veinot Group. Though he was "home educated," he is a relative newcomer to chemistry, joining the group on October 25th, 2004. His laboratory skills are limited, sadly, due to his stature and ability to only answer questions of a "yes" or "no" nature. What he does bring to the lab is infinite wisdom, a calm demeanor and one hell of a laser-pointer.