The talk will provide how fundamental knowledge in physical sciences like chemistry, physics and biology coupled with social sciences, can create game-changing technologies that can solve some of the global challenges of the twenty-first century such as water, food security and public health. Specific examples to be discussed are detection of E. coli (water-borne pathogen) in contaminated water, Listeria monocytogenes in food products, and lab-on-chip devices for detection of vector borne diseases like Dengue NS1. The talk will also highlight some of the lessons learned from the field deployment of engineering solutions, particularly in context to the deployment of water quality monitoring tool – the Mobile Water Kit and the use of Mobile APPs to create technology for the masses. In the second part of the talk, a brief overview of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) will be provided, particularly emphasizing how WIN is able to bridge different scales – from quantum to wearable devices.
Sushanta Mitra is the Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and a Professor in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Before joining UW, he was the Associate Vice-President Research and Kaneff Professor in Micro & Nanotechnology for Social Innovation at York University. His research interests are in the fundamental understanding of fluid transport in micro and nano-scale confinements with applications in energy, water, and bio-systems. For his contributions in engineering and sciences, he has been elected as the Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), the Canadian Academy for Engineering (CAE), the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE – Foreign Fellow), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC, UK), the American Physical Society (APS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the recipient of 2015 Engineering Excellence Medal from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.