Finalist’s entry shows hope for water

By Carl Clutchey
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
The Chronicle Journal

Fort William First Nation, Ont. — The scourge of plastic particle waste is so ubiquitous in our oceans, lakes and farmers fields, it often seems like an unsolvable conundrum.

It’s a good thing there’s people like Kaylib Tremblay, who recognize the scientific challenge but are nevertheless undaunted by it.

The 23-year-old Thunder Bay lab-tech worker was among the finalists in an Alberta technological competition for shared work on a vacuum and filtering device that could one day be used to remove tiny plastic materials from sea water.

“I really believe that with a little more finesse, it could help further the research into this area,” Tremblay, who is a member of Fort William First Nation, said on Monday.

Tremblay, along with a colleague at the Calgary-based Southern Alberta Institute for Technology, entered the contest when they were both still students. Tremblay graduated from the institute’s chemical laboratory technology program in June.

The competition is sponsored by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta.

On Monday, the association announced a team of former students at an Alberta college took top prize with an ankle-worn device that could transmit information from patients experiencing spinal chord-damage. There were nine project entrants in all.

Tremblay, who analyzes rocks and other materials at her current job in Thunder Bay, credits her years at the city’s St. Patrick High School for kindling her interest in technology.

“I initially thought about going into nursing, but I found I really enjoyed the sciences and organic chemistry,” she said.