Chemical Engineering student wins prestigious gold medal

Posted on June 18, 2020


Queen’s student MD/PhD Hannah Dies has received one of two Queen’s University Governor General’s Academic Gold Medals for 2019-2020, a significant accomplishment and recognition for her outstanding academic achievements and her dedication to learning as she pursues a medical career.

The MD/PhD program is a unique and challenging Queen’s program designed to combine research training with a Queen’s medical education. It allows for the integration of clinical and basic sciences during the pre-clerkship years and is tailored to meet individual student needs.

Hannah’s research in chemical engineering was focused on sensing techniques and plasmonics to detect small chemicals in fluids. Her collaboration with her supervisors and colleagues resulted in intellectual property — specifically, a microchip — that was used by students in the QIC Summer Initiative Program to create a sensor platform that can detect drugs. The students commercialized the platform, which can be used in a number of ways, such as a roadside detection device or for detecting fentanyl in drug products. Her work is also supported by a prestigious Vanier scholarship.

Hannah says that receiving the medal was truly rewarding after many years of hard work. “This is a challenging program, but it has given me so many diverse and transferable skills,” she says. “I’m proud of the work that I’ve done and excited for the next stage of learning.”