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Patrick Morkus, PhD Chemical Engineering student

“The community of professors here is kind of incredible. They’re all rooting for you and really want you to succeed. It gives you energy when you have super positive people around you who believe in you – it gives you that energy you need to push it to the next level.” - Patrick Morkus

A team of McMaster chemical engineers led by PhD candidate Patrick Morkus have developed a technology to detect toxic compounds in wastewater up to 24 times faster than the industry standard.

Read more about his research

On pursuing research at Mac  

Reflecting on his diverse experience in research so far, Morkus says it’s important to stay open-minded.  

 “Try to get as much experience as you can from different areas – you’ll be surprised to find that there’s a lot of overlap,” he says.  

Morkus started working in Robert Pelton’s research group in 2012 during his undergrad in chemical engineering and bioengineering at McMaster. His first research project was in the mining sector, developing specialty chemicals to extract metals from ore.   

From there, he went on to work at Xerox to help produce a less costly toner for printers and was involved with several other research projects before pursuing his PhD.  

“You’ll always take something that you learned in one area and be able to apply it to your benefit in another project. And then people will say, ‘hey, where did you learn that?’ so it’s important to stay open-minded and diverse to the different projects you can be a part of,” he said.  

In addition to the OCE funding that began in 2016, Morkus received further support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral (PGS-D) program last year.