Meet our incoming graduate students

September 22, 2021 by Dan Haves

This month, the department of chemistry welcomed 65 incoming graduate students who will be pursuing their research interests at our UTM (Mississauga), UTSc (Scarborough) and St. George (downtown) campuses. We asked a few of them about their research goals and why they chose U of T.


Guillermo Lozano Onrubia

Where did your interest in chemistry come from?

My family, but mostly my older brother had a big impact on me when I started to gain interest in the different subjects at school. He showed me how fascinating natural sciences could be and among the different subjects I had, chemistry interested me the most. This interest grew when I started my B.Sc. back in Heidelberg, when I really started to notice the true importance of it and the broad range of applications.

What are you looking forward to most as you begin your graduate studies here at U of T?

Learn, meet new people with whom to share my academic, but also personal interests and get to know Canada overall!


Katharina Davoudian

After doing your undergraduate studies at U of T, what was it that made you decide to continue your graduate studies here in the Department of Chemistry?

During my undergraduate time at UofT, I took Professor Michael Thompson's class, Biosensors and Chemical Sensors (CHM414). I developed a great interest in the course material and Professor Thompson's research. Compared to my experience with other chemistry courses, his class was my absolute favourite. I realized I wanted to conduct research in analytical chemistry and join his group at the University of Toronto.

Where did your interest in chemistry come from?

My high school science class sparked my interest in chemistry. I enjoyed that chemistry could be understood and solved without the need to memorize. Learning about chemistry was especially enriching, as it felt like looking through a window into the universe. I realized that chemistry is everywhere.

During my undergraduate degree, I had an amazing opportunity to be an NSERC USRA student in Professor Dwight Seferos's group. Those four short months introduced me to research and graduate student life, and were integral to helping me recognize my academic direction. I developed a passion for research in chemistry and realized I needed to pursue graduate school.

Finally, as my father is a chemist, we have had countless scientific discussions since my childhood. His influence helped develop my love and curiosity for science.


William Fahy

Where did your interest in chemistry come from?

I originally got into chemistry because I wanted to do science in general (it sounded like fun) and it seemed like a good place to start. I stayed because a mastery of chemistry can save lives and elevate our whole society, while an incomplete understanding of chemistry can be extremely dangerous on global scales. Mastering chemistry is like solving an enormous, fascinating puzzle that's all around us - and I love solving puzzles. I count myself very lucky to be working on something that I enjoy while still being extremely meaningful.

What are you looking forward to most as you begin your graduate studies here at U of T?

I feel that I have the freedom to ask and the resources to answer just about any question I can imagine - that's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a scientist!