Holly Fruehwald is a material scientist at Ontario Tech University. She tells us about the importance of developing new materials for affordable green energy technology.
I'm developing low-cost, environmentally friendly materials for energy storage and production devices as part of a new generation of materials for green energy technology. By doing so, green energy technologies can become more affordable in the future.
By using renewable and low-cost materials such as carbon, nitrogen and iron, we can create alternative materials that can be used in clean energy devices, such as fuel cells. There is nothing more important right now than saving our planet and these alternative materials are low-cost and environmentally friendly, which will cut the cost of manufacturing and allow for the widespread usage of green energy technology at an affordable price.
Because materials science is largely a male-dominated discipline, I had a difficult time finding mentors who could help me grow as a scientist. Impostor syndrome arose from the feeling that I didn't belong in this place. However, my mom and my grandma inspire me to keep striving to solve my Next Great Impossible and to aspire for greatness. They are two of the most independent and hardworking people I know; thinking about their struggles and hearing their motivational words really inspire me to do more and to never give up. Luckily, I was able to find some mentors and I hope to become one for the next generation of materials scientists.
Q: What kind of mindset do you need to achieve the Next Great Impossible?
A: Having an inclusive mindset and focusing on making an impact in society instead of limiting your ambitions to individual goals.