Recipient of Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award has big ideas for the quantum world
Pat Clancy has big ideas for the very small world of quantum mechanics as he receives the 2023 Petro-Canada-McMaster University Young Innovator Award.
As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clancy’s work focuses on the elegant and sometimes counterintuitive domain of quantum mechanics. Education and training are likely to become more important as Canada’s emerging “quantum technology” industry continues to grow, but for students, the application and practicality for daily life can sometimes be lost in the mathematical complexity of the ideas. The Petro-Canada-McMaster University Young Innovator award will support Clancy’s work of developing new strategies for improving the teaching of quantum mechanics using two different themes:
- Exploring student attitudes towards quantum mechanics
- Designing a new course to provide an experimental introduction to quantum materials.
“Dr. Clancy is already known among undergraduate students as a caring and enthusiastic teacher for the courses that he has taught. In addition, he is always looking for ways to make stronger connections between his research interests and the undergraduate experience,” says Allison Sills, Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department at McMaster University. “That is the theme of this Petro-Canada project: to bring the fascinating and surprisingly tangible topic of quantum materials to more students, and Pat is absolutely the person we want to lead that effort. The department is so pleased that Pat is being rewarded in this way.”
The Petro-Canada-McMaster Young Innovator Award, valued at $25,000, recognizes the research achievements of an innovative scholar within the first eight years of their research career at McMaster and provides funding support to enable the active participation of undergraduates in a research endeavour.
“McMaster University is committed to building positive student learning experiences across all disciplines and I am always so pleased to see our instructors exploring new and innovative ways to engage students in their courses,” said Lori Goff, Director of the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching.
Funds from the award provide an opportunity for researchers to garner student participation in a research activity that generates campus-wide recognition for innovative research achievement. A $250,000 endowment provided by Petro-Canada and a matching annual contribution from McMaster University’s Office of the Vice-President Research helps to finance the award.
To learn more about past winners and their funded projects, visit the Petro-Canada-McMaster University Young Innovator Award webpage.Updates