Student Speak

Cristina Mazza

Cristina Mazza is a fifth year Energy Systems Engineering & Management student. She loves being involved on campus as president of the Engineering Society and chair of the Canadian Nuclear Society UOIT Branch. In her spare time, she enjoys being active, whether it’s a casual swim or training for her next marathon. As the Innovation and Student Life blogger, Cristina is excited to write about the best of both worlds in her life at UOIT.

Recent Posts

Learning about robots at the MARS Lab

Posted by Cristina Mazza on February 26, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Welcome to the year 2016, where robots are giving dogs and diamonds a run for their money as humanity’s best friend! Robots are used in a diversity of industries and for countless uses, some of which are explored in UOIT’s Mechatronics and Robotic Systems Laboratory, or the MARS Lab for short. Dr. Scott Nokleby founded the MARS Lab in 2005. Since then, it has seen a wide variety of projects from undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. students. UOIT’s MARS lab consists of two separate rooms, one in UA and the other in the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) building, and many of the projects involve autonomous robots.

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Topics: Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

UOIT Bringing You the Fuel of the Future

Posted by Cristina Mazza on December 14, 2015 at 4:40 PM

Climate change is a hot topic right now (no pun intended)! Nations came together at the 21st International Conference on Climate Change in Paris with one goal in mind: figure out how to keep global warming from rising 2°C.

One possible way to reduce pollution and slow down (or even halt) climate change is to use fuel cells for many of our energy needs. Fuel cells, like batteries, produce electricity. The main difference is that batteries use stored energy inside of them to generate electricity while a fuel cell uses electricity from an external fuel tank of hydrogen gas to do so.

What’s so great about fuel cells, besides the fact that they run on what is literally the number one element on the periodic table, is that fuel cells tend to last longer than batteries, which reduces environmental waste. You can also refill a hydrogen tank in much less time than it would take to charge a battery. However, the best thing about fuel cells is that when you put hydrogen and oxygen gas into a fuel cell, you get water! Can you imagine a car that only emits water?

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Topics: Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

Do you have what it takes to run a nuclear reactor?

Posted by Cristina Mazza on December 9, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Red warning lights are lighting up the control panel.

You find it difficult to decipher warnings being flashed on the screens.

Alarms are going off.

You are told that a plane has just crashed into a transmission tower not too far away, with the potential of creating havoc on the electrical grid, and you have less than a minute until the real damage could begin.

Luckily, this isn’t a real emergency, but rather my first experience seeing a nuclear power plant simulatior in action.

With great (nuclear) power comes great responsibility. Can you imagine being responsible for providing electricity to millions of Ontarians? It's certainly not a simple job, so it’s no wonder that great measures go into the training of experts running nuclear power plants.

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Topics: Innovation, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

Radiation Protection in Action

Posted by Cristina Mazza on November 16, 2015 at 11:18 AM

Did you know that if you were inside a nuclear reactor you would receive the same level of radiation as drinking a banana smoothie?

Radiation is prevalent in our everyday lives, so much so that we can use a fruit as a comparison for the doses we could receive from living near a nuclear reactor, flying to Europe or even getting an X-ray or a session of radiotherapy (can you imagine eating 20,000,000 bananas at once for the last one?).

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Topics: Innovation, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

Orientation 101: Your Complete Survival Guide

Posted by Cristina Mazza on September 16, 2015 at 9:02 AM

Anybody who knows me knows that each September I look forward to Orientation more than some people look forward to pumpkin spiced everything.

After participating in five Orientations (one as a first year, two as an Orientation Leader, and now two as a faculty co-captain) some could consider me an Orientation expert, so let me teach you how to make your own Orientation experience awesome!

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Topics: Student Life