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Drew Higgins recognized for outstanding contributions to nanotechnology researchSeptember 30, 2020

Drew Higgins, an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University, has received the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) Rising Star Award 2020.

The award recognizes outstanding early-career researchers in nanotechnology from around the world and introduces them to the University of Waterloo nanoscience and technology community. 

It is an incredible honour to receive the WIN Rising Star Award, and ultimately this recognition needs to be shared with my supervisors, colleagues, mentors and students from both past and present,” says Higgins, who joined McMaster's Faculty of Engineering in January 2019. 

Higgins’ research group focuses on the development of nanomaterials into sustainable electro-chemical energy storage and conversion technologies. Some applications for this research include finding ways to use renewable energy to produce fuelschemicals or charge batteries as portable or stationary energy storage. 

“Human health and sustainability are two of the biggest challenges facing humankind. I hope that my team can develop novel nanomaterial solutions to enable clean energy technologies for a sustainable energy economy in the future,” says Higgins. 

Higgins completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2015 working within WIN. That year, he started a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University, working on obtaining a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms and properties governing electrochemical CO2 reduction catalysis.  

In 2017, he became an associate staff scientist at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where he oversaw research activities focusing on discovering and understanding new electrocatalyst compositions and structures. 

“Thanks to WIN for this incredible honour,” Higgins adds. “It provides an excellent opportunity to stay in touch with our neighbours at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology even after my time there concluded in 2015.” 

As the WIN Rising Star Award recipient, Higgins will give a keynote talk at the 2020 WIN Research Leaders Celebration, a virtual event in November 2020. 

Read more about the Higgins Lab