Although she enjoys all the sciences, Hiyam Hamaed chose to specialize in chemistry because it has so many applications to everyday life.
"I love chemistry because it goes beyond numbers—you can do it by hand, you can touch it, you can feel it," says the doctoral graduate, who volunteered for years performing a chemistry magic show for local schoolchildren. "I love to show everybody that chemistry is fun."
Dr. Hamaed received the Governor General's Gold Medal as the top graduate student in her cohort at Convocation ceremonies on Oct. 17, 2010. She received her B.Sc. with distinction in chemistry from the University of Windsor in 2005. She began graduate studies at the Master’s level in September 2005 and transferred to the Ph.D. program in 2006, completing her doctorate in June with a grade point average of 12.4 over her graduate career.
Her graduate supervisor, Robert Schurko, describes her as passionate about the science."She loves the work. That sort of attitude carries through in what she does," he says.
He points to her idea to use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to distinguish between polymorphic forms of pharmaceuticals."She pushed us to think outside of the box," Dr. Schurko says. "Four people are now working on a project she started."