Karl Zimmermann

Karl Zimmermann was a finalist in the 2019 Three Minute Thesis competition, with his presentation, "Biological ion exchange for long-term water treatment in small and remote communities."

Biological Ion Exchange to remove organics from drinking water

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

After my undergrad, I was confident in my abilities as a biochemical engineer. I had found a big interest in water treatment, and I realized that I hadn't yet learned enough about water treatment to make real change in the world. So I decided to pursue grad school to learn about trusted as well as emerging water treatment technologies, and to gain experience and connections in the industry before I go off to start solving real-world problems.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I have lived in BC in the past, and love the lifestyle here. UBC is a formidable school for research, and well recognized. My supervisor, Dr. Madjid Mohseni sold me on the work that his group does in both development of new technologies, as well as design implementation of water treatment systems through RES'EAU.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

My research group is very well connected and respected within the water treatment community, and are seen as leaders within Canada. I was excited to join a team who are making real change and get to implement the work that we do in the lab.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

How big salmon get.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I did a final-year undergrad research thesis project, which exposed me to lab research. Knowing basic techniques and how lab work operates has made it easier for me to design my graduate research programme.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

You learn more outside of your office than in front of your computer. Talk to someone new every day.