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A passion for science leads to success

Matthew Lai

Matthew Lai | Class of 2012
Bachelor of Science (Honours), Health Physics and Radiation Science

"I love the constant development in the field of physics," says Matthew. "Throughout history, it was always the great discoveries in the field of physics that changed the entire era. Basic physics allowed ancient builders to build pyramids. During the Newtonian era, which lasted 200 years, our greatest mechanics were invented based on Newton's advancements in physics. Now, in the past century, we've advanced from quantum mechanics to modern quantum physics."

Matthew has had a passion for science since high school when he competed in science competitions. "Once I understood I wanted a career that would make a difference to the world and give back to the community, the field of physics was an easy pick," he says.

After graduating from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in 2012, he joined environmental consulting firm SENES Consultants as a Radiation Technician and worked on a community project to resolve environmental concerns about historic radioactive industrial waste. He then moved to Babcock Services as a Senior Radiation Technician, providing support for radiological challenges and hazards, and nuclear industrial environments.

In 2014 he joined Ontario Power Generation as the Health Physicist supporting the Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Generation stations. He assists with routine planned and forced outages using innovative applied health physics techniques and technologies to maintain as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) radiation protection for personnel. He is proud to be working in what he refers to as "one of the most sought-after positions in a prestigious organization."

While he attended UOIT, he was an executive of the Health Physics Association, which enables Radiation Science and Health Physics students to keep up-to-date with industry developments. He continues in this role today. He is also is pursuing a Certified Health Physicist designation. He hopes to one day enrol in a master's or continuing education program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Matthew still regularly meets with fellow co-workers, colleagues, supervisors and managers who also graduated from UOIT. "I am pleased to be associated with the industry's biggest contributors, knowing that I took classes with them," he says.

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