Frank Gu

What a Pleasant Surprise!

Failed experiments never get this chemical engineer down; after all, he knows how large a role serendipity plays in science.


Frank Gu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and the CRC in Nanotechnology Engineering.  We asked him everything from what he likes most about being a researcher to what he is reading in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What do you like most about being a researcher?
I get to work on research topics that I’m deeply passionate about, and am able to work on these topics every day with a large network of researchers and specialists to tackle some of the biggest challenges faced by our country.

What advice would you give young researchers?
In research, we often come across unexpected experimental results, but don’t treat them as failed experiments. Some of the greatest discoveries in research come in unexpected.

What are you reading right now? 
Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs by Morton A. Meyers.

What do you like to do for fun?
Watch TV.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
A chef.

Aside from things for your survival, what item would you most want to have with you on a deserted island? 
A solar power generator.