Anjutha Selvaraj | Western University 2023 Honours B.Sc. Graduate | Environmental & Medical Sciences
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Name Anjutha Selvaraj
Location London, ON, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Languages English, Tamil
Skills FreeCAD, AutoCAD, Ultimaker CURA, PrusaSlicer, project management, literature reviews, leadership
Registered 2021
Impact 130
Contributions OS Rheometer (from MIT):FAST

Academic Background[edit | edit source]

As a Bachelor of Science graduate with Honours at Western University, I completed a double major in Environmental Sciences and Medical Sciences. My academic interests encompass the changing environmental effects on human health, analyzing the relationships between humans, animals, and ecosystems, understanding the external components contributing to diseases, investigating ways to manage plastic pollution effectively, and incorporating sustainable solutions in all fields. Through coursework, I researched and wrote literature reviews on synthetic polymers and sustainable alternatives and the environmental concerns regarding freshwater aquaculture as a potential food production system to support increasing global consumption. With my research experiences, I have strived to improve access to healthcare and develop innovative solutions to address plastic pollution and global food insecurity concerns.

Research Interests[edit | edit source]

  • Discovering innovative multidisciplinary approaches to solve global health issues (including the UN's SDGs)
  • 3-D bioprinting living tissues and 3-D printing sterile, cost-effective surgical tools and custom prosthetics
  • Developing nutritious solutions to support the increasing global food demand and consumption within the Earth's carrying capacity
  • Recycling plastic waste to produce feedstock for 3-D printers
  • Recovering lost petroleum from landfilled plastics
  • Establishing end-of-life options for existing landfill waste
  • Producing cost-effective, bio-based polymers with improved properties to replace synthetic polymers

Technical Experience[edit | edit source]

Research[edit | edit source]

Honours Thesis in the Free Appropriate Sustainability Technology (FAST) Research Group[edit | edit source]

For the 2022-2023 academic year, I worked under Dr. Joshua Pearce to study how 3-D printing can be used to make waste plastic a desirable food source. Adjacent projects at the FAST Research Group worked on producing biomass grown on waste plastic. My focus was to study the potential of food 3-D printing in overcoming consumer hesitancy towards using waste plastic as a food source. I performed a literature review on the need for an innovative solution addressing food insecurity and malnutrition in accordance with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2) and designed scientific procedures investigating the rheological properties of biomass grown on waste plastic. I was able to determine a surrogate mixture that was successfully 3-D printed, proving that food 3-D printing can transform waste plastic into a desirable food source.

Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (USRI)[edit | edit source]

In the summer of 2022, I completed a 16-week research fellowship with Western University and the Faculty of Engineering. Under the supervision of Dr. Pearce, I researched, designed and tested a 3-D printed autoinjector using open hardware. Autoinjectors are spring-driven medical devices used for the self-administration of insulin. Unfortunately, these popular devices are expensive due to patent systems. Thus, the use of open-source hardware and 3-D printing technology can improve access to healthcare.

Research Assistant with the Free Appropriate Sustainability Technology (FAST) Research Group[edit | edit source]

Since October 2021, I have been a member of Dr. Pearce's FAST research group. The FAST research group explores ways solar photovoltaic technology can sustainably power our society and how open-source hardware can drive distributed recycling and additive manufacturing (and maybe even social change). My focus is on using open-source appropriate technologies (or OSAT) and RepRap 3-D printing to decentralize local production and manufacturing in the medical field.

During my time with the FAST Research Group, I conducted a literature review on self-injection medical devices, and incorporated user preferences, needs and values in the design of a 3-D printable autoinjector. I tested the device against current standards (ISO 11608) to facilitate the self-administration of insulin. The manuscript for this project (“Open-source 3-D printable autoinjector: design, testing, and regulatory limitations”) is currently under review.

3-D Printing Experience[edit | edit source]

Vice President of Academics for Western's 3-D Printing Club (3DW)[edit | edit source]

During the 2020-21 academic year, I helped establish Western University's first 3-D printing club (3DW), focusing on communicating the possibilities of solving issues through 3-D printing technology in different fields. To encourage the student body to engage with the technology for the first time, I translated the complexities and technicalities of recent publications from the additive manufacturing field into simple language. By highlighting its real-world implications and benefits, I made it clear that 3-D printing technology is used in various fields and not exclusively in engineering. As an executive member of 3DW, I led workshops to teach AutoCAD 3-D modelling to club members while overseeing the CAD design projects. Other responsibilities include managing the team construction of two 3-D printers by organizing the club members into subteams that focus on the frame, electrical and design components of the printers. One of the printers will be an inverted delta metal 3-D printer, using open-source designs created by Dr. Joshua Pearce. In addition, I will collaborate with other executive members to organize charitable donations and events that help teach younger students about 3-D printing in partnership with Let's Talk Science.

3-D Printing Committee Member of Student Relief Team (SRT)[edit | edit source]

I began volunteering with the not-for-profit organization Student Relief Team (SRT) during the summer of 2020 to support frontline workers through the COVID-19 pandemic. To support organizations across London, Ontario, with PPE shortage, I collaborated with a team of five members to research, test, and 3-D print ear savers to donate with medical-grade face masks. I demonstrated excellent attention to detail when upgrading and maintaining the printer’s functionality to optimize print quality through this position. My role included researching and testing a myriad of 3-D printing materials, including PLA, PETG, polypropylene and polycarbonate. By creating process efficiencies to print 60% more individually, I produced 3000+ ear savers for frontline workers across Ontario. In response to the organization’s positive impact, I proposed expanding print efforts to include face shields to address the surplus demand for PPE and the need for added safety. Through this opportunity, I also volunteered at Black Lives Matter protests to distribute care packages complete with masks, ear savers, and snacks.

Campus Involvement[edit | edit source]

Sustainability Committee Member on PACES (The President's Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability)[edit | edit source]

In 2019, I had the opportunity to join PACES and work with Western University's Sustainability Coordinators and the Programming Coordinator of the Housing and Ancillary Services to assist with reaching the university's sustainability goals. Through programming events that engaged first-year students in sustainability initiatives and running workshops focused on education, I helped evolve the waste management systems in residences. In this role, I executed electronic-waste collection initiatives across campus and designed processes that decreased the amount of contaminated recycling in residence buildings.

Residence Orientation Leader with Western University[edit | edit source]

As an Orientation Leader with Western University, I assisted incoming first-year students – all with their own unique concerns and backgrounds – with transitioning into the university environment during the 2019-20 academic year. It was my responsibility to instill respect and create a safe space for every student on my floor. For example, I held floor meetings, planned social events, and held drop-in hours where students could speak to me privately. Through effective communication and my ability to initiate meaningful conversations, I sought to resolve conflicts while fostering an environment where students could be their authentic selves without fear of judgement.

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