Ben Ouyang, a fourth-year Engineering Science student (Biomedical Engineering option) has been awarded first prize in the Sunnybrook Prize competition
Ben Ouyang, a fourth-year Engineering Science student (Biomedical Engineering option) has been awarded first prize in the Sunnybrook Prize competition.
The national research competition recognizes excellence in undergraduate engineering and physical sciences research and promote careers in biomedical engineering, pitting 10 undergraduate finalists from across Canada against one another. Competitors give a final presentation before a panel of Sunnybrook Research Institute judges for the top $10,000 prize.
“The level of competition was pretty crazy,” said Ouyang. “There were a lot of really, really great projects.”
This year, students from Ontario schools such as Waterloo and Western presented on topics as varied as new ultrasound transducers and a new coil for an MRI machine, building upon a tradition of outstanding research. “Last year’s winning research was in quantum entanglements,” said Ouyang, “It’s really impressive.”
Two other U of T Engineering students also rounded out the top ten: Ang Cui (EngSci 1T3 + PEY) and Mark Aquilino (EngSci 1T5).
Ouyang’s winning research focused on the creation of a new, elastic biomaterial substance with ‘highly tune-able’ mechanical properties. It’s thought that the unique material will enable better drug delivery systems.
The research was a project Ouyang worked on at MIT as part of his Professional Experience Year (PEY), a year in which students explore research in a professional environment. The biomedical program Ouyang joined is a joint program between Harvard and MIT.
Ouyang worked under a PhD student Maria Pereira and Jeff Karp (IBBME 0T4), Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Ouyang was one of the researchers named on the patent application filed on the biomaterial research this past summer, and was an author on the article, which was recently published in high-impact scientific journal Advanced Materials.
“Ben is an outstanding, fast-paced, yet humble individual who has made a lasting impact on my laboratory,” said Karp. “I have very high expectations for Ben’s success and I am very proud of him and his accomplishments, including the Sunnybrook Prize.”
Ouyang’s prize comes on the heels of another accolade; this fall he also took top prize at the IBBME Undergraduate Summer Research Program symposium.
“Ben has been a top-performing student of the Engineering Science program, one of the toughest and most demanding engineering programs of its kind,” said Ouyang’s supervisor at IBBME, Director Paul Santerre. “His maturity, work ethic and problem-solving skills are good indicators that Ben’s accomplishments will continue to guide his success in the future.”
Graduating in the spring, Ouyang has applied to U of T’s MD/PhD program in the Faculty of Medicine to further his interests in biomedical engineering and medicine.