Sami Khan (ChemE 1T2) was recently elected an Action Canada Fellows, given annually to 20 emerging leaders. Sami is an Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He leads the Engineered Interfaces for Sustainable Energy (EISEn) group, studying creative ways to enhance the performance and longevity of sustainable energy systems.
He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in energy engineering at SFU, and his multidisciplinary research group is particularly interested in clean energy solutions in remote Canadian communities.
A chemical engineer by training from the University of Toronto, Sami’s interest in science and policy piqued when he interned at Ontario Power Generation, reviewing compliance to nuclear safety codes and standards as part of the Darlington Nuclear Station refurbishment project. Sami’s motivation to use his engineering knowledge to impact policymaking subsequently led him to pursue a Masters’ degree in Technology and Policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his Masters’ thesis, Sami studied the market for rare-earth metals with applications in hydropower systems. He received the Hydro Research Foundation Award from the US Department of Energy, and was recognized as the Young Researcher of the Year at the World Hydropower Congress in Beijing, China in 2015. He recently obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in June 2020.
Sami has previously worked in the rare-earth mining industry in Canada, and was a Science and Technology Advisor to the Chief Scientist of Natural Resources Canada. He has taught high school and university students in South Korea, Kazakhstan and Mexico, and has volunteered in Indonesia through the GiveLight Foundation, supported by the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Fellowship from MIT. He is an avid biker, sailor, foodie and geography geek, and yearns to sail around the world one day.
Each year Action Canada selects up to 20 emerging leaders to become Action Canada Fellows. They are the top candidates from a nationwide call for applications, hailing from major cities and smaller communities such as Carcross, Yukon; Witless Bay, NL and Fermont, QC.
Action Canada Fellows represent all sectors, including business, NGOs, science, government and academia. What they share in common is a commitment to Canada and a demonstrated engagement with public policy.