Globalink Professor Profile: Dr. Pierre Sullivan from UToronto

Mitacs Globalink contributes fresh perspectives for a UofT microfluidics lab

While much research exists to study large commercial airliners, micro-air vehicles remain under-studied by comparison. As Director of the Turbulence Research Lab at UofT, Dr. Sullivan is studying aerodynamic control of these aircraft flying at low speeds, with the goal of developing methods to improve their performance at minimal cost to manufacturers.

Simultaneously in collaboration with Dr. Ridha Ben Mrad, his microfluidics team is studying the understanding of the mechanics of tiny fluid jets for use in medical apparatuses. The jets can be used for the analysis of biological samples at the nano-scale, delivering near-invisible droplets accurately while minimizing patient pain. For several years, Mitacs Globalink students from India and China have played a role in both of the projects under his wing.

Dr. Sullivan explains that hosting Globalink students is a welcome opportunity to understand different approaches to his research. Last year, his team developed an Invention Disclosure based on some of the research his 2012 Globalink student, Zhifang Yang, undertook. They are also looking to publish an academic paper related to his 2012 students’ work in microfluidics this year.

“I’ve always been impressed by the quality, knowledge and work ethic of the Mitacs Globalink students I’ve hosted, and it’s been very good to have a student come from another country who brings good ideas and a new perspective to the challenges in my lab. ”

When asked if he would recommend Mitacs Globalink to other Canadian faculty, Dr. Sullivan said: “Never! I want all of the students to myself! But actually, I would absolutely recommend it and have done so in the past.  It not only gives students the chance to experience Canadian universities and labs, but we also benefit from the ability to meet prospective grad students who give us a new perspective on the work.”

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia,, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

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