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2018 Issue 2: War and Peace

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The exchange experience: Tyler Whitney

The exchange experience: Tyler Whitney

[photo of Tyler Whitney in Vietnam]
supplied photo

Tyler Whitney in Sapa, During his time studying in Singapore, he also explored Vietnam. Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Tyler Whitney, Com’17

Q: How did you decide on Singapore for your exchange experience?

A: I did my exchange to Singapore for two main reasons. I wanted to explore part of Asia while I was abroad, and Singapore is the best location to do this. The second reason was because Singapore is an incredible country for doing business. It is a place I could envision myself moving to in the future, so doing an exchange there was a great opportunity to test out the city and see if I liked it.

Q: What did you study on exchange and what extracurricular activities did you take part in?

A: I studied business at Nanyang Technological University. I was in Singapore for Chinese New Year, which was an exciting experience, and throughout my time there I was able to travel to many countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Q: Anything you wish you had done differently if you were to go on international exchange for the first time?

A: I wish I spent more time with local students, or even students from places outside of North America. There were so many students on exchange from Queen’s, Canada, and North America, so it was hard to not hang out with them. When you are on exchange, you should try to hang out with different people as much as possible!

While he was on exchange in Singapore, Mr. Whitney learned about the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition.This summer, he travelled back to Singapore for the competition. He and his colleagues at Spectra Plasmotics won the grand prize in the business competition.

Queen’s student venture victorious in Singapore

They travelled to the other side of the world to put their business plans to the test, and in the end the Spectra Plasmonics team came up victorious at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition.

The competition was hosted by Singapore Management University and the Queen’s team was up against 35 other teams flown in specially for the competition.

The Spectra Plasmonics team is made up of Tyler Whitney (Com’17, Artsci’18), Ryan Picard (Sc’17), Malcom Eade (Artsci’18), and Christian Baldwin (Sc'19) and Yusuf Ahmed (Sc’18). This past summer, they took part in the Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition at Queen’s where they developed a chemical sensor that can be used for food safety, forensics, and law enforcement. With state-of-the-art capability, this device saves time and money in detecting trace levels of harmful compounds in complex mixtures.

“The win by Spectra Plasmonics is a testament to the character and effort put in by the team, to our strong academic programming and the leading edge research underway at Queen’s, and to the resources we have in place at Queen’s to support student entrepreneurs,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. “Congratulations to the entire Spectra Plasmonics team, and the Queen’s researchers behind the chemical detection technology, on their outstanding accomplishment.”

This venture demonstrates the success of the Foundry Program, developed together by the Office of Partnerships and Innovation and the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre to provide the opportunity for researchers who have intellectual property with commercial potential to work with students who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. Spectra Plasmonics is building a venture around some of the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy intellectual property that Hannah Dies, Aris Docoslis, Carlos Escobedo and Josh Raveendran – all of the Department of Chemical Engineering – have been developing.

Read "The exchange experience: Sophie Fusigboye."

Read "The exchange experience: Catherine Paul."

[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 4-2017]