Join CEGSA and shape the future of our grad programs: Emma Su’s inspiring journey

Emma Su
Emma Su, MEng Representative 2022-23

Looking to make a difference in the world of sustainable energy? Meet Emma Su (ChemE MEng 2T3), an exceptional graduate student who has been leading the way as an advocate for the MEng program at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry (ChemE) at U of T. Her incredible journey serves as an invitation for aspiring MEng students to become involved with the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (CEGSA), our vibrant grad student council. By joining forces with other passionate grad students, you can actively contribute to the improvement of our grad programs while forging lasting connections and amplifying your impact.

Emma faced a pivotal decision when she graduated from her BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2020. With the pandemic as a backdrop, she made the bold choice to take a year off and carefully evaluate her options. In Fall 2021, Emma embarked on her MEng at ChemE, driven by her desire to delve deeper into the realm of sustainable energy. Recognizing that an advanced graduate degree would equip her with the necessary tools to excel in this field, she eagerly embraced the customizable options offered by ChemE’s MEng program.

Her journey led her to the renowned Bender Laboratory, where she works under the mentorship of Professor Tim Bender. Emma’s current research project focuses on testing the lifetime and resilience of organic solar cells, a groundbreaking technology used to generate electricity. The project, aptly titled Accelerated Aging of Organic Solar Cells, explores the robustness of these cells under various environmental stressors, unveiling insights crucial for advancing the field.

Beyond her academic pursuits, Emma’s impact extends to the MEng program as a whole. After completing the first year of the two-year Extended Full-time Program, she sought to broaden her horizons and contribute to the program’s improvement. Emma courageously stepped up as an MEng Representative for CEGSA, working alongside her co-representative, Audrey Dossou. Together, they have served as vital bridges between MEng staff, the Departmental Chair, and their classmates. Emma’s active involvement has led to the implementation of new initiatives, the creation of the influential MEng Fall survey, and a strengthened MEng community. Additionally, she has played a pivotal role in organizing various MEng events while fostering an inclusive environment through the establishment of an engaging MEng Whatsapp group.

Professor Charles Jia, Associate Chair, Continuing Professional Development commends Emma, stating, “Emma’s reliable and dedicated contributions as the MEng Representative have been nothing short of remarkable. Her strategic thinking, creativity, and effective communication have significantly enhanced MEng programming throughout the academic year.”

While embodying the spirit of leadership, Emma has also embraced the joys of community and camaraderie. As one of the two talented bakers behind the CEGSA “Fika Friday” events, she has been instrumental in fostering a vibrant social scene for MEng students. These weekly gatherings in the Grad Common Room offer not only delectable treats and invigorating coffee but also the chance to unwind and connect with the entire ChemE graduate student community.

Emma is set to complete her program this August, with graduation scheduled for November. Currently, she is actively networking and applying for positions in sustainable energy, aiming to make a tangible impact in the field she is so passionate about.

As Emma reflects on her ChemE experience, she warmly shares, “It has been an absolute honor and and privilege to represent the collective voice of MEng students and witness the implementation of our suggestions. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my classmates, lab mates, MEng staff, and Professor Bender for their unwavering support throughout my two-year journey.” Emma, the honor has been ours. The Department will undoubtedly miss you, and we wish you the utmost success in your future endeavors!

If you are an aspiring ChemE MEng student interested in shaping the future of the program and supporting your classmates, keep an eye out for future communications about CEGSA Executive elections and events. By participating in CEGSA initiatives, you can be part of an extraordinary community dedicated to driving positive change and innovation within our graduate programs.

Connect with Emma and thousands of other U of T Engineering students, alumni, faculty, and staff by signing up for U of T Engineering CONNECT.