Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2019)
Zirconia has seen a marked increase in its use in dentistry. The sintering of soft milled zirconia is accompanied by high shrinkage, approximately 20–30%. Sintering shrinkage is usually estimated as a single value for each blank, and manufacturers do not provide information on how shrinkage percentage is calculated and whether the estimated shrinkage percentage is based on linear or volumetric changes. In order to compensate for sintering shrinkage, the dimensions of the milled frameworks are enlarged by an appropriate factor, which supposedly corresponds to the estimated shrinkage upon sintering. Since dimensional changes are unavoidable during the processing of zirconia, the purpose of this series of studies was to understand how different preparation designs may affect dimensional changes during sintering, especially when using different sintering protocols, and how that would affect the fitting of the crown (Chapter 1). A systematic overview of how altering sintering protocol could affect the microstructure, mechanical and optical properties of zirconia material was conducted (Chapter 2). Then a systematic review of literature on the factors affecting the marginal fit of zirconia crowns was assessed qualitatively (Chapter 3). Subsequently, the effects of different preparation designs and sintering protocols on the marginal fit of zirconia crowns were investigated (Chapter 4). Afterward, the linear and volumetric dimensional differences between the virtual, milled and sintered copings as a result of the two different sintering protocols were measured (Chapter 5). Our search demonstrated that fast sintering improved the optical properties of zirconia but decreased its flexural strength. There was a lack of studies investigating the effects of different sintering protocols on marginal fit and dimensional changes of zirconia prostheses. There was a significant interaction between the crown thickness, finish line width and sintering protocol on the marginal fit of zirconia crowns. There was also a significant interaction between the coping design, processing stage and sintering protocol on linear and volumetric dimensions of zirconia copings. The combined outcome of this series of experiments allowed the proposition of the ideal combination of design and sintering protocol that results in minimal distortion and improves fitting of zirconia crowns.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Introduction: Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing in dentistry has lead to rapid expansion of new dental materials. A new product from Shofu (Shofu, Japan), TRINIA CAD/CAM blocks and pucks, offers an alternative to the existing resin composite CAD/CAM materials. The claimed mechanical properties of TRINA provide merit to further research and development of 3D fiber reinforced composites for CAD/CAM dentistry. Objective: To design and produce 3D braided fiber-reinforced composites for dental CAD/CAM applications. Materials and Methods: Experimental groups were designed and produced in conjunction with the Department of Materials Engineering, UBC. The proposed design parameters included: 50:50 volume fraction fibers, 45-degree braiding angle, and 14 mm*14 mm cross sectional area, the approximate size of currently available CAD/CAM blocks. Continuous S-2 glass fiber roving was used as the reinforcing agent. Three experimental 3D glass fiber preforms were produced with internal structural variations using a 4-step braiding technique. A 50:50 UDMA:TEGDMA resin matrix blend with a thermal curing agent was used for infiltration via submersion under vacuum, followed by thermal curing. An unreinforced resin blend and a unidirectional fiber-reinforced composite, with the same volume fraction and dimensions, served as control groups. Samples were prepared to 4 mm*4 mm*45 mm beams for three-point-bend testing. An Instron 5969 Dual Column Material Testing System was used to test the flexural properties of the samples. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the fractured samples. Results: Results showed that incorporation of anisotropic unidirectional fibers had the most significant effect in reinforcing the resin blend. The unidirectional control group produced the greatest flexural strength and elastic modulus at 336.6 MPa and 37.3 GPa, respectively. The 2-ply+axial group followed at 236.52 MPa and 20.75 GPa. The 2-ply had values of 196.2 MPa and 11.83 GPa. The 4-ply had values of 96.48 MPa and 4.906 GPa. The 4-ply group failed to reinforce a resin control group, which had values of 102.65 MPa and 2.467 GPa.Conclusion: Incorporation of anisotropic reinforcing fibers has most significant influence on the experimental materials flexural properties.
Electrospun nanofibers with and without nanoparticles are poorly explored in dental research. Nanocrystalline cellulose is a nanoparticle with distinguished properties that has already been associated with nanofibers, but yet not applied to any dental aspect.The objective of this work was to investigate the use of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers containing nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) in the light of the mechanical behavior of fibrous mat and experimental dental composites. Three experiments were performed to answer the following research questions: 1) Can nanocrystalline cellulose improve mechanical properties of polyacrylonitrile nanofiber meshes? 2) Does the method of dispersion (simple mixture vs. with solvent exchange) of NCC in PAN solution affect fiber formation and the respective properties of the meshes? and 3) Can NCC-containing PAN electrospun nanofibers affect flexural properties of experimental dental composites?Results showed that nanocrystalline cellulose, at low concentrations, significantly increases PAN nanofibers tensile properties (chapter 2). Dispersion methods affected both the morphology and mechanical properties of the fibers (chapter 3). Finally, when NCC-containing PAN nanofibers were used to produce experimental dental composites, there was a significant improvement in flexural strength and work of fracture (chapter 4). In conclusion, the findings indicated that the use of electrospun nanofibers and nanofibres containing nanoparticles is a promising approach to reinforce dental composites.