ChemE’s Erin Ng and Yuxin (Sindy) Zhang grace U of T Engineering’s 2024 list of Grads to Watch

Each year, U of T Engineering complies a list of graduates nominated by their departments for demonstrating exceptional dedication and promise during their tenure as students. This year’s list of 14 grads includes two from ChemE: Erin Ng (ChemE 2T3 + PEY) and Yuxin (Sindy) Zhang (ChemE MEng 2T4).

The following was taken directly from Grads to Watch 2024. Visit to see all 14 grads and read their exceptional stories.


Erin Ng (ChemE 2T3 + PEY)

Ng has earned more than a degree from U of T Engineering; she acquired the self-assurance to take on whatever challenges might come her way.

“Going through this rigorous program has shown me what I’m capable of,” she says. “I’ve learned how to adapt and work effectively as part of a team. And I’m more comfortable approaching professors and experts with questions.”

She was a varsity figure skater during all five years of her undergraduate studies — including during her PEY Co-op at Sanofi — and she rose to the ranks of team captain.

“I feel like I’ve come full circle with skating. I’m lucky to be in a position where I can mentor younger skaters, in the same way older skaters looked out for me when I was starting out,” says Ng, who received a U of T Student Leadership Award earlier this year.

Ng also made her mark as the professional development director for U of T’s student chapter of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. In her two years in this role, she led the planning for the group’s national conferences in Vancouver and Calgary, helping students better understand the field of chemical engineering and what they could accomplish with a degree.

Pursuing a summer research project at ETH Zurich and an undergraduate thesis project with Professor Levente Diosady (ChemE) opened Ng’s eyes to the enriching world of academic research. This fall, she’ll be starting a master of applied science at U of T Engineering, under the supervision of Professor Frank Gu (ChemE).

“As I reflect on what it means to work in the field, I know I want to make meaningful and important contributions through my work, without ever losing sight of my duties as an engineering professional.”


Yuxin (Sindy) Zhang (ChemE MEng 2T4)

Some students might wade into complex water treatment research, but Zhang dove right in.

Passionate about water treatment technology and the accessibility of clean water, she sought out research projects and potential supervisors as soon as she started her master of engineering program.

“When you think about it, water is the most important aspect of our daily lives,” says Zhang, who pursued an emphasis in Advanced Water Technologies. “I knew I wanted to work on a project related to water quality and treatment.”

Over the past two years, under the supervision of Professor Jay Werber (ChemE), she studied the potential role of polydimethylsiloxane in extracting medium-chain fatty acids from organic waste.

“Fatty acids have important industrial purposes in biofuel production, medical applications and lubricants, yet so much of it is disposed in organic waste,” she says.

“It’s exciting to see if there might be ways to recover them and unlock their potential.”

Wrapping up this project and preparing her findings for publication in a peer-reviewed journal is a fitting way to cap off her MEng experience.

For Zhang, her U of T Engineering experience has been transformative. She describes the opportunities to visit water treatment plants, speak with alumni and meet with professionals in the industry as game changing.

Following convocation, Zhang, who is an international student from China, is looking forward to returning home to reconnect with loved ones. After that, she’s hoping to pursue work in consulting, working in water treatment technologies.

The lessons she learned at U of T Engineering will certainly serve her in future endeavours.

“The environment at U of T pushed me to think in ways I’ve never thought before. Being here has taught me how to stretch my abilities and ways of thinking to solve problems.”