Originally from a small town in Cuba, Yadienka Martinez-Rubi studied pure chemistry at the University of Havana and worked at one of their institutes for 4 years before leaving for the University of Chile on a scholarship.
After graduating with her PhD, Yadienka had several options to explore. However, when she heard of an opportunity in Canada working in a government research lab, she made the National Research Council her home in 2005 and has been here ever since.
Yadienka works on developing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) for advanced composites. While BNNTs are not new, her team was the first to develop a methodology for producing larger quantities – enough to give us a real advantage to do some amazing research.
BNNTs and CNTs have incredible strength, mechanical properties and thermal conductivity. Unlike CNTs, BNNTs are transparent, electrically insulating, and shield against neutron radiation. The potential applications are endless. Even NASA is exploring them for future space structures that, among other things, shield against radiation.
"My career have given me wonderful opportunities, the opportunity of developing my potential and learning something new almost every day working in multidisciplinary teams to help build a better society."