Anjutha Selvaraj | Western University 2022 B.Sc. Candidate | Environmental & Medical Sciences
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Academic Background[edit | edit source]

As a fourth-year student at Western University, I am pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Science 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 the increasing global consumption. I am currently researching Schistosomiasis in Senegal and developing possible solutions to this health challenge using a One Health approach.

Research Interests[edit | edit source]

  • Discovering innovative multidisciplinary approaches to solve global health issues (including the UN's SDGs)
  • 3D bioprinting living tissues, and 3D printing sterile, cost-effective surgical tools and custom prosthetics
  • Developing nutritious solutions to support the increasing global food consumption within the Earth's carrying capacity
  • Recycling plastic waste to produce feedstock for 3D 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

Leadership Experience[edit | edit source]

3D Printing[edit | edit source]

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

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

3D 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 ten members to research, test, and 3D 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 3D printing materials, including PLA, PETG, polypropylene and polycarbonate. By creating process efficiencies to print 60% more individually, I produced 2000+ 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 of 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 – transition 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.