Simon McNamee

Simon McNamee

Master’s in Engineering Physics student

Research: Simon is combining nanowire technology with Betavoltaic energy conversion to create a long lasting nuclear battery. Betavoltaics refers to the direct generation of electrical power from radioactive source in a semiconductor. “If you picture nanowires like a forest, any free space between the trees can be filled with this radioactive source.”

Why his research matters: This battery application will power a device or sensor for a long period of time. “It could power anything from space probes to implantable medical devices for hundreds of years.”

Cross-disciplinary mentorship: “Mentorship means passing along a certain set of skills that are easily transferable to any task. If I mentor someone, I may not know exactly how to solve their problems, but what I can do is give that individual the tools they need to be able to succeed on their own. Mentorship between two people doesn’t necessarily have to happen within the same field. I think it’s beneficial to learn from people that are trying to solve completely different problems.”

Problem solving using a different viewpoint: “I think that it’s important take a moment and try to see a problem from a different angle. You would be surprised at the new problems or solutions that arise.”

Making a difference: “Being able to say, ‘I made this better’ is just very satisfying. Every time I achieve a goal and get one step closer to a working device, I get a little motivation boost because I know that this could be a technology that could have real world applications and improve upon the technology that is out there today.”

Why McMaster Engineering: “McMaster Engineering is world-renowned and has an excellent engineering infrastructure. The program, the professors and the equipment all over campus have given me the resources I need to follow the path I want.”

“Every time I achieve a goal and get one step closer to a working device, I get a little motivation boost because I know that this could be a technology that could have real world applications.”

 

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