Like a lot of students entering engineering, Alexis Guidi had an affinity for math and physics. “I loved math and physics, but I thought engineering was just building stuff with a dash of math,” says Guidi. What she came to realize was that engineering took her passion for math and physics to another level by applying those principles to solve real-world problems.
Guidi began her undergrad at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering in 2018; completing a BASc in Electrical Engineering. While she enjoyed her courses, it was a first-year electromagnetism course that sparked an interest in electrical engineering specifically optics and photonics.
“Initially in that course I was having trouble understanding the content, so I asked the professor (Dr. Jonathan Holzman) for help,” explains Guidi. Little did she know at the time, but that exchange with Dr. Holzman would lead her to where she is today.
After graduating with her undergraduate degree last spring, Guidi is now pursuing a MASc with Dr. Holzman as her supervisor in the Integrated Optics Laboratory. Her research focuses on analysing how terahertz frequencies interact with matter. To do this, she is developing a system that enables accurate identification and characterization of biological specimens, which could lead to more effective cancer detection.
“As I’ve progressed in my studies at UBC, I’ve realized I can help address biomedical problems that the scientific community faces.”
As the 2023 recipient of a Stober Foundation Graduate Award in Engineering, Guidi can further pursue this passion.
“I am so grateful to have received the Stober Foundation Graduate Award, and I believe that part of my academic success is owed to scholarships such as this one. One of the deciding factors for graduate school was the financial impact it would have on me—I love learning, but it does get stressful and discouraging to think about where funds for my degree will come from,” explains Guidi.
Guidi is considering fast-tracking into a Ph.D. program before 2024 allowing her to continue her research as she works towards becoming a professor of electrical engineering.
“With this award, my financial burden is greatly reduced, and this allows me to focus on my research wholeheartedly! The Stober Foundation is giving back to the community in an immeasurable way, and I hope to be able to do the same through my research.”