Meet a MecE NSERC Undergraduate Researcher

Brynn Murphy is working with Dr. Warren Finlay in the aerosol lab

BRYNN MURPHY: I’m a fourth-year mechanical engineering co-op student. For this four-month work term, I approached Dr. Warren Finlay and asked him if he would be interested in doing a project with me. Through him I applied for an NSERC grant. The co-op program requires that I get paid for work and the grant allowed that to happen.

The project, very generally, is in the aerosol research lab. I am looking at three different budesonide inhalers. Budesonide is a drug used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—COPD. There are three different commercially available inhalers and I’m testing them. They are made by different companies and ideally they are producing the same drug. We want to see if they are really all doing the same thing. That’s the end goal of my project.

It’s for information, but hopefully in the future it can help us improve inhaler devices. One of the inhaler is the only budesonide inhalers available in Canada. The other two we had to order from Europe.

Dr. Finlay has been interested in this question. He figured out the project and asked me if I wanted to do work that was more computer, or more hands on. I don’t have a lot of experience in fluid dynamics. And this experience has been good, it will help me with fluid dynamics classes. I am learning so much.

After this, I have three years until I graduate. The co-op program adds an extra year to the program, but I’m also doing an extra year on top of that one, so I don’t have to take six classes every semester!

At the end—I am trying to figure out what I want to do and the co-op program is helping me see where I want to take my degree, because mechanical is so broad, you can take it into any industry. I am thinking I want to go into the creative side, maybe research and development. Maybe that means a graduate degree, maybe not. I would definitely recommend this to other students.