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ADESAQ highlights the quality of Mingjie Wu’s thesis

November 24, 2022 | Sophie Laberge

Update : November 24, 2022

The recent INRS graduate received this award for his work in the field of natural sciences and engineering.

Green energy concept

INRS graduate Mingjie Wu receives an award for his work in the field of natural sciences and engineering.

The Association of Deans of Graduate Studies in Quebec (ADESAQ) has awarded the prize for the best thesis, in the fields of natural sciences and engineering, to Mingjie Wu. The 2021 alumnus completed a PhD program in energy and materials science under the supervision of Professor Shuhui Sun. His work focused on the development of inexpensive and highly efficient bifunctional catalysts and three-dimensional (3D) air electrodes for rechargeable zinc-air battery (ZAB) applications. These important achievements will have significant impacts on promoting the commercialization of rechargeable ZABs and the realization of a sustainable future.

Professeur Shuhui Sun

I am very proud of Mingjie’s achievements and congratulate him on receiving this award! He is very hard-working and intelligent. The significant impacts of his innovative work are important to the field of clean energy conversion and storage. Mingjie is one of my best Ph.D. students and I have really enjoyed the time working with him.”

Shuhui Sun

The members of the jury emphasized the exceptional quality and originality of Mingjie Wu’s thesis. His important contribution to the development of knowledge in his field of research was also noticed.

The award is accompanied by a $2,500 grant, made possible by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologie.

A promising energy source

Rechargeable Zn-air batteries (ZABs) are considered one of the most promising candidates as next-generation power sources for many applications due to their high energy density, high safety, and low cost. One of the biggest challenges for the commercialization of rechargeable ZABs is the design of highly efficient bifunctional air electrodes, which can effectively catalyze the key oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) during the battery charge and discharge process.

Mingjie Wu’s research during his Ph.D. in energy and materials science covers both fundamental study (materials synthesis, in-situ characterization, and mechanism study) and practical applications (i.e., energy device fabrication). He designed a series of novel nanostructured bifunctional catalysts and electrodes based on non-precious materials for high-energy and long-life (over 1,000 hours) rechargeable ZAB devices. These important discoveries and knowledge derived from his Ph.D. project will also inspire the development of other research fields related to electrocatalysis and clean energy devices, such as fuel cells, H2 production, CO2 conversion, flow batteries, etc.

Mingie Wu

“It is an honor to see that the jury was able to recognize my PhD research. This prestigious award is certainly a steppingstone for my career. I really appreciate the guidance and encouragement from my supervisor, Professor Shuhui Sun, as well as the strong support from INRS.” 

Mingjie Wu

Prior to complete a Ph.D. at the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre in 2021, Mingjie Wu completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering, in China. He is now pursuing his postdoctoral research at McGill University. He already holds six patents, has published a book chapter and 37 research papers that have been cited over 1,380 times. Among his publications, 12 articles were published in top journals with a strong impact factor, including Advanced Energy Materials, ACS Energy Letters and Energy Storage Materials. For this research, Mingjie received doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from FRQNT.

Mingjie Wu’s thesis is titledDevelopment of High-performance Bi-functional Oxygen Electrocatalysts for Rechargeable Zn-air Batteries“.