PICS Scholars Yue Zhang and Dr. Kevin Andrew are the 2022 recipients of the PICS Awards for Leadership in Engaged Research.
The award, established in 2021, recognizes students and post-doctoral researchers involved in PICS programs for contributing to new mitigation or adaptation climate solutions, and for co-developing these solutions with “solution seekers” – decision-makers within government, business, civil society, Indigenous Nations and governments, and communities.
Yue Zhang, a Scholar working on the Tellurium Boosted Li-S Battery PICS OPP project with Dr. Jian Liu, is a PhD candidate in the School of Engineering, University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan campus. Zhang was chosen for the award due to her commitment to co-developing her research with solution seekers Fenix Advanced Materials, GLABAT Solid-State Battery Inc., and National Research Council Canada. She has been deeply involved in several projects to develop cleaner, safer, and more powerful batteries while also supporting a circular economy with the reuse of critical metals. Zhang has made exceptional progress in pushing the boundaries for next-generation batteries. As the lead author, she has published her research findings in eight top-tier journals. For this PICS project, she is using recycled tellurium to boost Li-S chemistry as a next-generation battery.
Dr. Kevin Andrew is a Scholar and post-doctoral fellow working on the Climate Finance PICS OPP project, under Dr. Basma Majerbi and Dr. Michael King at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. Andrew received the award due to his hard work on co-development of his research with the project’s solution seeker, the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), the largest public sector pension fund in the province. This work includes a climate scenario explorer dashboard he is building to integrate climate transition risk into decision-making at BCI. Andrew also has four research papers in progress towards publication. These papers span the disciplines of finance, economics and public policy.
Andrew and Zhang each receive $2,000 which they can use to participate in a national or international conference, or other professional development opportunity. Zhang says she plans to use the award to attend the 243rd Electrochemical Society Conference in the United States, or the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, to introduce her research findings and connect with scholars in the battery field. Andrew says he is still searching for a conference to submit his research, but hopes to use this as an opportunity to interact with scholars outside his immediate network.