Who is the Veinot Group?

Link to Veinot Group Alumni page.

Link to visiting ATUMS students page.


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.

Christopher Jay Robidillo

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Sarah Milliken

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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

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My name is Yingjie (Jay) He and I am a 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 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).

Jonathan Hiltz

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My name is Jonathan Hiltz, and I started a post doctoral position in the Veinot group in july of 2018, where I am currently trying to make large amounts of silica nanorods. I was born and grew up in Halifax, Nova scotia, but completed my B.Sc and PhD in chemistry at McGill university in Montreal. My work focused on using the silica shells of marine diatoms as templates for the production of patterned arrays of metal nanoparticles. Basically, I put thin metal films on things, put them in furnaces and then looked at them with electron and atomic force microscopy. When I'm not in the lab I'm probably at home with my wife and 3 cats or out walking around. I'm a big fan of the trailer park boys, old video games, 70s and 80s rock and heavy metal music, Green Lantern comics and beer.

Nduka Ikpo

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My name is Nduka Ikpo, I joined the Veinot Group as a Research Associate in August 2019, where I am working on silica nanorod synthesis and water-soluble nanoparticle synthesis for imaging. I received my M.Sc. and Ph.D. within the broad areas of Analytical and Synthetic Chemistry from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) St John’s, Canada, where my work focused on the development of metal complex catalyst precursors for ring opening polymerization (ROP) of cyclic monomers and copolymerization of carbon dioxide (CO2) with epoxides. In 2016, I joined the Serpe Group in the Department of Chemistry of University of Alberta as Project Coordinator/Lab Manager, where my focus was inspiring team accomplishment and delivering quality on-time project execution. In my spare time, I listen to old school hip-hop music. I love playing soccer, table tennis and I also like to watch mix martial arts (UFC).

I Teng (Emily) Cheong

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Hi everyone, I am I Teng (Emily), who joined the Veinot group in 2018 as a graduate student. I am from Macau SAR, China and have completed BSc. at University of Alberta . My previous research experiences invovled applications of nanomaterials in patterning and batteries, as well as synthesis of new single-site catalysts for olefin polymerization. Now, I am interested in exploring polymeric hybrids. Other than hanging out with friends, I also enjoy food, travel, music, and arts.

Kevin O'Connor

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Hello, my name is Kevin and I joined the Veinot group as a graduate student in September 2018. I am originally from Vancouver, BC and I completed my B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. My research will investigate the lithiation of silicon nanoparticles and nanosheets and their promising applications in lithium ion batteries as anode materials. I enjoy traveling, board games and playing ice hockey on the Chemistry Graduate Student team.

Riley Hooper

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I’m Riley and I am a joint PhD student in the Michaelis and Veinot research groups. I came to the University of Alberta as a graduate student in 2019 after obtaining an Honors BMSc in Chemical Biology at the University of Western Ontario. I am originally from Wallaceburg, a small town in southern Ontario and was part of the Veinot and Michaelis groups in 2017 as an undergraduate student. I previously worked on applying solid-state NMR spectroscopy to Silicon Nanoparticles to understand the structure of these particles in more detail. Now, I will be continuing to apply these techniques to a variety of different nanoparticles made here. In my spare time, I enjoy playing hockey, rock climbing, and exploring the outdoors. My favourite modes of transportation are Lime scooters and Honda Odysseys.

Ziqi (Amber) Li

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I am born and raised in Zhejiang, China. I received my B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Toronto. I have previously researched the surface of the PbS nanocrystals that was synthesized via the PbCl (Cademartiri/Weidman) route. My hobbies include watching movies, reading novels and being terrible at cooking.

Chuyi (Martin) Ni

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Hi! I am Chuyi (Martin) Ni. I was born in Changsha, Hunan, China and I finished my BSc. Degree at Sun Yat-sen University. I joined the Veinot group in 2019 and my previous research revolved around nanomaterials especially perovskite. Now I want to explore more in the area of nanomaterials and solid-state NMR. Besides chemistry, I like playing sports and games with my friends.

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.