School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Passion for Happiness – Meet Aida Mohammadi

PhD candidate, Chemical Engineering   

by Phil Gaudreau, February 2021

Aida Mohammadi

Wayne Dyer once said, “Passion is a feeling that tells you this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn't matter what anyone else says.”

It’s one of Aida Mohammadi’s favourite quotes. And finding her passion is one reason she has found a home at Queen’s Engineering.

“I’ve been surrounded by many engineers growing up. I’ve watched the progress and success of my family members, and this inspired me to pursue my own path in engineering,” says Mohammadi.

Despite enjoying her masters research into nanotechnology in her home country of Iran, Mohammadi felt that the progression of her research was slow.

“I had a strong research area to work in, but I couldn't achieve my goals as quickly as I wanted to,” says Mohammadi. “If I wanted to move forward, I knew that I needed to be in an environment that could progress fast enough to reach my goals.”

She consulted Iranian women engineers about their experiences abroad and began researching international universities. Mohammadi was accepted into a British university as well as Queen’s but decided that Queen’s was the better choice based on her research topic. She began her PhD in 2017.

“I found that Queen’s is one of the best environments for research in chemical engineering,” says Mohammadi. “I also found that it had a very helpful and friendly environment. Since I moved here, this country has given me the best days and I love this country so much.”

In her first year of PhD, Mohammadi worked with graphene – a single, two-dimensional layer of graphene – to design and fabricate biosensors for the detection of illicit drugs in humans. Once completed, these nano sensors could also be developed to also help improve the detection of cancer markers and biochemical materials.

In light of the pandemic, Mohammadi has adapted her research slightly by working on a method to apply her graphene-based research to the detection of the coronavirus in humans.

“I want to take advantage of this time to focus on trying to help people in any way possible,” says Mohammadi.

Under the supervision of faculty members of chemical and mechanical engineering departments, Mohammadi is now working to devise a new method that can afford low CO2 producing energy sources using graphene-based membranes.

“Membrane technology is the field of high interest due to its application for many areas such as water filtration,” explains Mohammadi. “Researchers around the world are exploring a wide range of promising technologies to lower the cost of energy produced by fossil fuels.”

Once she completes her studies, Mohammadi wants to follow in her family's footsteps and become a university professor. She feels confident what she is learning at Queen’s will equip her to pursue her goals.

“My goal is happiness. Happiness is not having the best of best today; it is about making the best of life we have today,” she says.

To learn more about graduate programs within the Queen’s Department of Chemical Engineering, please visit their website.