This is what I do.
Hi, my name is Vasilii Triandafilidi.

I am a third-year doctorate student doing Entrepreneurial Ph.D. program in Chem&Bio Engineering UBC.

In this blog besides personal learning, I will cover several topics:

1. Entrepreneurship

I am passionate about the commercialization of technologies and bring ideas "from bench to trench." With this in mind during my degree, I am taking courses in business administration and entrepreneurship. Using the business knowledge obtained in this program, I and my colleagues tried to start Tesseract technologies” a venture that uses materials inspired by my research to treat human aneurysms, which unfortunately proven to lack market need.

This made me think that I was very wrong about start-ups and innovation. I had a solution that was looking for a problem, whereas what I need is the opposite: a problem waiting for a solution. So I co-founded a UBC Innovation OnBoard a 6-month start-up program that allows ventures in the field of Health/Food/Energy\&Environment to jumpstart their ideas by working on challenges pitched by industry representatives.

Our program offers a forum for building cohesive multidisciplinary teams that can tackle the real problems faced and pitched by companies in BC.

In this blog, I will share stories and insights on entrepreneurship that I got and still get.

2. Learning ( and specifically languages)

I am lucky that due to my upbringing I developed skills that help me tackle new languages in a matter of weeks. I speak six languages right now conversationally fluently, and if I have two weeks to brush on my forgotten languages, I will be able to converse in 2-3 more. I am not saying this to show off, but to instead lure you into reading more about language learning skills.

I was born in Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic in the center of a hot region called Middle Asia. When I was growing up, I had to speak two languages - Russian at home and Uzbek on the streets. At school, we would try to learn English, but starting from grade 6 my mom would push me really hard to learn English.

I am ethnically Greek, and I would learn this language after visiting Greece couple of times and buying a couple of CDs with Greek music I learned Greek.

After coming to Vancouver, I was surrounded by Persian speaking friends. The language had a very nice vibe to it and was reminding me of my childhood speaking Uzbek - so I have learned it.

A couple of years into my Graduate degree - I had a bet with my friend that I will learn Spanish in a month for a box of beers. Long story short, in a month I had a couple of beers to drink.

I'm developing a novel method that will allow everyone to learn a language fast and I will share these tips with you.

3. Research

With increasing interest in motion capture, soft robotics and wearable medical technologies; human (bio) compatible sensors are required. When creating these bio-friendly sensors, they need to be flexible, conductive and compatible with human tissue. Unfortunately, the materials currently available are either solid, as in electric wire, or liquid, as in car batteries.

Smart hydrogels are a promising class of materials that can potentially bridge the gap between current sensor technologies and tomorrow’s soft-sensor requirements. On a nanoscopic level hydrogel resemble three-dimensional hollow honeycomb cells that trap the conducting particles (ions). By choosing the correct chemical process for creating the gel, one can virtually program it to respond to external stimuli like temperature, pH or mechanical impact (as in touch sensors) hence the name “smart.” To optimize the performance of hydrogels in touch sensors, one needs to understand in detail the behavior of ion movement in the honeycomb cells when pressure is applied.

Through a computer simulation tool called Molecular Dynamics, I will perform an extensive analysis of the flow of ions in the gel cells. Through extensive virtual trials, the most optimal chemical structure will be selected. This will allow experimentalist to synthesize a most favorable gel possible and gain insights into it on a nano level. The optimized hydrogel structures could revolutionize the field of soft tissue human-friendly sensors or artificial muscles.

4. Programming

Here I will share some issues that I encounter doing computer simulations on polyelectrolyte gels, and specifically:

* Python/Bash programming

* Mac OS X/ Linux based systems

Hope you enjoy it! You can say thank you by commenting on my blog and creating your own. I will post the instructions on how to do that later on!