Moussa Thiam, a Ph.D student at the Department of Civil Engineering, wins prestigious international competition

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Moussa Thiam

Moussa Thiam tied for first place and was congratulated by the jury at the prestigious Next Einstein Forum (NEF) in Senegal. Thiam won for the innovative method he developed on the theme: From Waste to Wealth: Turning Plastic Waste into Civil Engineering Construction Materials. Plastic waste is the source of many environmental problems, particularly in developing countries. Thiam’s method consists of mixing plastic waste with gravel and sand in a special oven to produce a cheap and sustainable alternative to concrete that can be used for construction.

Moussa Thiam + Mamadou Fall
Moussa Thiam with his supervisor, Professor Fall, in the laboratory at uOttawa

The NEF provides a global platform for scientists, policymakers, the private sector and civil society to come together to contribute to global development by making changes in the fields of science and technology. This international meeting of the NEF, the first of its kind in Africa, took place in Senegal and brought together more than 500 scientists from over 70 countries. This biannual forum honours the brightest young innovators, the aim of which is to find the best innovators and young researchers and help them carry out their projects. A number of media outlets from around the world (BBC, CNN, CTV, TV5, Vox, etc.) covered the NEF and praised the winners.

"Participating in this prestigious forum was a great experience and I am honoured to be among the winners. This idea will lead to a cleaner environment, reduce the cost of construction materials and help create jobs. I would like to thank my family, Mali (the country where I was born), and my friends. I would like to thank the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and the NEF for this opportunity and for the global media coverage. I would also like to thank my Ph.D supervisor and the University of Ottawa for helping me grow academically in the field of science,” said Thiam, who graduated from one of Mali’s prestigious engineering schools and from AIMS Senegal.

Professor Mamadou Fall, Thiam’s Ph.D supervisor, congratulated him on this international recognition and added that Thiam is "eager, dynamic and engaging and takes his doctoral research very seriously.”

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