May-Aug, 1999 — Dr. John Strom-Olsen McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

  • Research Assistant: maintained a computer-controlled metal hydration/dehydration system
  • Updated the data acquisition and control system, purchasing and installing new computers and acquisition cards, and creating a new interface based in LabVIEW
  • Tested and maintained an oxygen-free glove box system

This was a co-op job, though I found it myself by applying for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Award program. Dr. John Strom-Olsen at McGill University accepted my application for the Research Assistant position he had available in his metal-hydride research group. This group was involved in the development of metal-hydrides for the small-space hydrogen storage needed for hydrogen powered vehicles.

I worked on two major projects in my 4 months with this group:

  1. Glove Box Documentation and Regeneration

    The development of procedures for the normal use and the regeneration of the group's glove box. This box was built by a previous post-doc with the group, who had since moved on and left behind very little information. The box is used as an oxygen-free environment to prepare the metal-hydride samples. The daily operation was not very complicated, however the regeneration of the air filtration system for the box had never been done as no one knew how. After collecting information on the filtration system, I wrote the procedures below. I then performed the regeneration and reduced the impurity content inside the glove box to a level below measurement capabilities.

  2. Computer Upgrade

    The core of the group's work was done using two automatic hydration/dehydration setups to test their metal-hydride samples. These involved a complex system of electronic valves and pressure sensors, all controlled and measured by computers. The systems had been built several years before, and was in bad need of upgrading. I developed and implemented the upgrade plan, including the purchase of new computers and electronic pressure sensors, and the new software needed to control the system.